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Performance of Routing Protocols for Real Wireless Sensor Networks

Matthias Becker, Sven Schaust and Eugen Wittmann

International Symposium on Performance Evaluation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems (SPECTS 2007)
San Diego, California (USA), July 16-18, 2007


The main task of a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is to collect data and either send it to a base station immediately or to store it locally until the data is requested by a base station. WSN form a wireless network without specific infrastructure thus efficient routing protocols are necessary to let a data packet find its way from one specific sensor node through the network to the base station. Since WSN are a quite new technology, in a first step existing routing protocols from other types of wireless networks have been employed in WSN. However these protocols are not well suited for WSN, since the characteristics of the technology and the application of other wireless networks may be quite different from those in WSNs. As consequence the adopted routing protocols often perform badly in the context of WSN. In this work we study the usability of several routing protocols in a real world environmental monitoring task and show how the performance of wireless routing protocols can be improved significantly if adapted carefully for the use in WSN. Finally, the performance of the different available routing protocols is then measured and compared through actual deployment of the WSN using cricket motes, which have been designed by U.C. Berkeley.

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