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Sensors 2012, 12(1), 806-838; doi:10.3390/s120100806

Reliability and Availability Evaluation of Wireless Sensor Networks for Industrial Applications

1
Department of Computer Engineering and Automation, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Campus Universitário 59078-900, Natal, Brazil
2
ISR, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Porto, Porto 4200-465, Portugal
3
IDMEC, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Porto, Porto 4200-465, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 December 2011 / Revised: 5 January 2012 / Accepted: 10 January 2012 / Published: 12 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)

Abstract

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) currently represent the best candidate to be adopted as the communication solution for the last mile connection in process control and monitoring applications in industrial environments. Most of these applications have stringent dependability (reliability and availability) requirements, as a system failure may result in economic losses, put people in danger or lead to environmental damages. Among the different type of faults that can lead to a system failure, permanent faults on network devices have a major impact. They can hamper communications over long periods of time and consequently disturb, or even disable, control algorithms. The lack of a structured approach enabling the evaluation of permanent faults, prevents system designers to optimize decisions that minimize these occurrences. In this work we propose a methodology based on an automatic generation of a fault tree to evaluate the reliability and availability of Wireless Sensor Networks, when permanent faults occur on network devices. The proposal supports any topology, different levels of redundancy, network reconfigurations, criticality of devices and arbitrary failure conditions. The proposed methodology is particularly suitable for the design and validation of Wireless Sensor Networks when trying to optimize its reliability and availability requirements. View Full-Text
Keywords: dependability evaluation; wireless sensor networks; fault tree analysis; WirelessHART; ISA 100.11a dependability evaluation; wireless sensor networks; fault tree analysis; WirelessHART; ISA 100.11a
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Silva, I.; Guedes, L.A.; Portugal, P.; Vasques, F. Reliability and Availability Evaluation of Wireless Sensor Networks for Industrial Applications. Sensors 2012, 12, 806-838.

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