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Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1049; doi:10.3390/s17051049

Alternative Path Communication in Wide-Scale Cluster-Tree Wireless Sensor Networks Using Inactive Periods

1
Department of Computing, Federal University of Piauí, 64049-550 Teresina, Brazil
2
INEGI/INESC-TEC, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
3
Automation and Systems Department, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 88040-900 Florianópolis, Brazil
4
Department of Computing, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 88905-120 Araranguá, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Leonhard M. Reindl
Received: 15 February 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)

Abstract

The IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee cluster-tree topology is a suitable technology to deploy wide-scale Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). These networks are usually designed to support convergecast traffic, where all communication paths go through the PAN (Personal Area Network) coordinator. Nevertheless, peer-to-peer communication relationships may be also required for different types of WSN applications. That is the typical case of sensor and actuator networks, where local control loops must be closed using a reduced number of communication hops. The use of communication schemes optimised just for the support of convergecast traffic may result in higher network congestion and in a potentially higher number of communication hops. Within this context, this paper proposes an Alternative-Route Definition (ARounD) communication scheme for WSNs. The underlying idea of ARounD is to setup alternative communication paths between specific source and destination nodes, avoiding congested cluster-tree paths. These alternative paths consider shorter inter-cluster paths, using a set of intermediate nodes to relay messages during their inactive periods in the cluster-tree network. Simulation results show that the ARounD communication scheme can significantly decrease the end-to-end communication delay, when compared to the use of standard cluster-tree communication schemes. Moreover, the ARounD communication scheme is able to reduce the network congestion around the PAN coordinator, enabling the reduction of the number of message drops due to queue overflows in the cluster-tree network. View Full-Text
Keywords: IEEE 802.15.4; ZigBee; Wireless Sensor Networks; cluster-tree; ARounD; wide-scale; message streams IEEE 802.15.4; ZigBee; Wireless Sensor Networks; cluster-tree; ARounD; wide-scale; message streams
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Leão, E.; Montez, C.; Moraes, R.; Portugal, P.; Vasques, F. Alternative Path Communication in Wide-Scale Cluster-Tree Wireless Sensor Networks Using Inactive Periods. Sensors 2017, 17, 1049.

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