2. Network Architecture
3. Physical Layer in WMSN
- The physical layer technology must work in a compatible way with higher layers in the protocol stack to support their application-specific requirements and to meet the design challenges of WMSN. This can be done with higher efficiency if a cross-layer model is used especially between physical layer and MAC layer.
- The physical layer should utilize the available bandwidth and data rate in the best possible way, and to be more power efficient.
- The physical layer should have a good performance (gain) against noise and interference and provide enough flexibility for both different channel and multiple path selection.
- The cost of the radio should be taken into account since it will be deployed in large number of nodes.
4. MAC Layer in WMSN
- maximize network throughput,
- enhance transmission reliability,
- minimize control overhead,
- be energy-efficient,
- and guarantee a certain level of QoS.
4.1. The Affecting Characteristics of WMSN on MAC Protocol Design
4.2. MAC Layer’s Main Functions
Scheduling and Admission Control
4.3. Research Issues
5. Routing Layer in WMSN
5.1. Routing Methodologies in WMSN
5.2. Future Research Directions
6. Transport Layer in WMSN
- Network topology: The network topology of WMSN is dynamic due to wireless link condition and node status, and generally it takes the shape of multihop many-to-one (like a star-tree) topology that is either flat or hierarchal. These variations in network topology should be taken into account in designing a transport protocol for WMSN.
- Traffic characteristics: Most of the traffic in WMSN is generated from the source nodes toward the sink and, depending on the application, this traffic can be continues, event-driven, query-driven, or hybrid. Also in many cases, the source node can send its multimedia traffic using multipath route to the sink and this feature can be exploited to design a suitable transport protocol for keeping the quality of multimedia streaming.
- Resource constrains: The sensor nodes have limited resources in terms of battery power, communication bandwidth, and memory that require less expensive and more energy efficient solutions for congestion control and reliability.
- Application-specific QoS: As we mentioned before, WMSN has diverse applications from surveillance and target tracking to environmental and industrial applications. These applications may focus on different sensory data (scalar, snapshot, or streaming) and therefore they need different QoS requirements in terms of reliability level, real-time delivery, certain data rate, fairness, etc.
- Data redundancy: Collected sensory data -in general-in WMSN has relatively high redundancy and hence many WMSN applications use multimedia processing, such as feature extraction, data compression, data fusion, and aggregation to decrease the amount of data while keeping the important information. Therefore, reliability against packet loss becomes an issue in WMSN especially if these packets contain important original data such as Region of Interest (ROI).
- Overhead of the connection establishment mechanism in TCP might not be suitable for event-driven applications.
- TCP uses end-to-end congestion control that requires longer response time (comparing with hop-by-hop control) and may cause more packet loss in case of congestion.
- The reliability mechanism in TCP is also based on end-to-end retransmission which consumes more energy and bandwidth than hop-by-hop retransmission.
- TCP assumes that packet loss is due to congestion only and hence triggers the rate adjustment process to reduce the traffic rate whenever it detects packet loss. This behavior in TCP leads to decrease the throughput in WMSN because congestion is not only the reason for packet loss, also wireless link condition and bit-error level cause packet loss that cannot be solved by rate reduction.
- Fairness is an issue in TCP, because congestion control mechanism in TCP can discriminate against sensor nodes that are far away from the sink node.
6.1. Congestion Control
6.2. Reliability and Loss Recovery
6.3. Open Research Issues
7. Application Layer in WMSN
7.1. Multimedia Source Coding Techniques
- Layered Coding (LC)  is type of video source coding technique by which the original data is encoded to one important base layer (coarse version) and one or more less important successive enhancement layers (to get the fine version). At the destination side, the base layer can be combined again with all or subset of the higher-quality layers to achieve the desired level of video resolution. However, the loss of the base layer makes the information received from the the enhancement layers useless. The same principle of Layered Coding technique was used in  and .
- Predictive Video Coding (PVC) , used in MPEG-x and H.26x standards, is based on the idea of reducing the bit rate generated by the source encoder by exploiting data statistics. PVC coding employs two modes for encoding the video: 1) Intra-frame coding mode (I-frame) that is used to reduce the redundancy within one frame by exploiting the spatial correlation in the frame, and 2) Inter-frame coding mode (P-frame) or motion compensated predictive that is used to reduce data redundancy in subsequent frames by exploiting both spatial and Temporal correlation. Performance evaluation of PVC over Stargate and TelosB is conducted in  showing the energy consumption in both video compression and transmission.
- Multiple Description Coding (MDC)  is used to enhance the error resiliency of video delivery by splitting the multimedia content to two or more independent and equal important streams (multiple descriptions). Each description alone provides acceptable low quality version of the original and combining all descriptions together gives higher resolution. This technique can be used in conjunction with multi path transport approach to achieve load balancing and meet the available bandwidth as shown in  and .
- Distributed Video Coding (DVC) , used for low complexity encoding by shifting the complexity to the sink side, incorporates concepts from source coding with decoder side information for creating an Intra-coded frame along with a side information frame. Therefore, in this technique, multimedia content can be partitioned into multiple streams consisting both intra-coded and decoder side information frames by using simple and low power encoder while the decoder at the destination side can be complex exploiting the availability of the resource such as energy and processing power capability. Two practical DVC encoders are proposed in the literature, Wyner-Ziv (WZ)  and PRIZM . DVC coding has been used for WMSN in  and . It is shown in  through practical implementation of DVC in WMSN that there is a tradeoff between computation and transmission power consumption depending on the encoding schemes used in implementing DVC codec. While a computational intensive scheme, such as discrete cosine transform (DCT), consumes more computational power, it achieves significant compression hence less needed transmission power. On the other hand a less computational intensive scheme, such as a pixel based codec needs less computational power but more transmission power. Therefore, the choice of either scheme (DCT or pixel based) to implement the DVC codec for multimedia content in WMSN depends on the tolerable distortion (quality) and power consumption.
7.2. Collaborative In-network Multimedia Processing
7.3. Traffic Management and Admission Control
8. Cross Layer Optimization
- Cross layer design between multimedia source coding techniques at the application layer and the routing protocol in the routing layer can be exploited for better multipath selection or in-network processing.
- Cross layer design between the routing layer and the MAC layer can allow for packet-level service differentiation or priority-based scheduling and for more power efficient routing mechanisms.
- Cross layer design between MAC layer and the physical layer, especially in the case of using UWB technology. The adoption of the UWB technology as the underlying transmission technique in WMSNs and the potential challenges in this area, appear as an interesting research topic.
- Cross layer design between the routing layer and transport layer especially in the case of multiple paths routing for optimizing the selection of better or most adequate paths that guarantee the required QoS and reliable delivery for each type of multimedia content.
9. Coverage and Connectivity
10. Security in WMSN
11. Hardware and Testbeds
11.1. Wireless Motes
- Lightweight-class Platforms: The devices in this category are designed initially for detecting scalar data, such as temperature, light, humidity etc., and their main concern is to consume less amount of energy as possible. Therefore, these devices have low processing power capability and small storage and most of them are equipped with a basic communication chipset (e.g., IEEE 802.15.4 on CC2420 radio). The CC2420 chipset only consumes 17.4 and 19.7 mA for sending and receiving respectively and has maximum transmit power of 0 dBm with data rate of 250 Kbps. Table 4 shows examples of lightweight-class wireless motes, Mica-family motes  and FireFly , and compares their specifications.
- Intermediate-class Platforms: The devices in this group have better computational and processing capabilities and larger storage memory than lightweight-class devices. However, they are also equipped with low bandwidth and data rate communication module (e.g., CC2420 chipset which is IEEE 802.15.4 compatible). Tmote Sky  is an example of Intermediate-class mote designed by Moteiv (Sentilla) that uses low power 8 MHz 16-bit MSP430 F1611 RISC processor from Texas Instruments featuring 10kB of RAM, and 48kB of flash. Tmote Sky uses Chipcon CC2420 radio for IEEE 802.15.4/ Zigbee for maximum data rate of 250 Kbps. Tmote Sky has been used to implement camera mote with CITRIC  and CMUCam3 .
- PDA-class Platforms: The devices in this category are more powerful in terms of computational and processing power and they are designed to process multimedia content in a fast and efficient manner. These devices can run different operating systems (e.g., Linux, TinyOs, and run Java applications and .NET micro frameworks) and support multiple radios with different data rates (e.g., IEEE 802.15.4, IEEE 802.11, and Bluetooth). However, these devices consume relatively more energy. Stargate and Imote2 are examples of PDA-class platforms. Stargate board , designed by Intel and manufactured by Crossbow, uses 400 MHz 32-bit Marvell’s PXA255 XScale RISC processor with 32 MB of Flash memory and 64 MB of SDRAM and runs Linux operating system. It can be interfaced with Crossbow’s MICA2 or MICAz motes for IEEE 802.15.4 wireless communication as well as PCMCIA IEEE 802.11 wireless cards or compact Flash Bluetooth. Thus, Stargate board can be used as a sensor network gateway, robotics controller card, or distributed computing platform. It forms a camera mote when it is connected with camera device (e.g., webcam) as shown in [98–100]. Imote2 , also designed by Intel and manufactured by Crossbow, is a wireless sensor node platform built around the low-power 32-bit PXA271 XScale processor and integrates an 802.15.4 radio (CC2420) with a built-in 2.4 GHz antenna. It can operate in the range 13–416 MHz with dynamic voltage scaling and includes 256 KB SRAM, 32 MB Flash memory, 32 MB SDRAM, and several I/O options. It can run different operating systems such as TinyOs and Linux with Java applications and it is also available with .NET micro framework. It integrates many I/O options making it extremely flexible in supporting different sensors including cameras, A/Ds, radios, etc. The PXA271 processor includes a wireless MMX coprocessor to accelerate multimedia operations and add media processor instructions to support alignment and video operations. Imote2 has been used as a camera mote in [102, 103].
11.2. Camera Motes
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|Data Rate (max)||250 Kbps||1 Mbps (vl.2)|
3 Mbps (v2.0)
|54 Mbps||250 Mbps (up to now)|
|Output Power||1 – 2 mW||1 – 100 mW||40 – 200 mW||1 mW|
|Range||10–100 meters||1 – 100 meters||30 – 100 meters||< 10 meters|
|Frequency||2.4 GHz or|
915 MHz or
|2.4 GHz||2.4 GHz||3.1 GHz - 10.6 GHz|
|No. Nodes||< 65000||7||30||-|
|MAC Protocol||(Single/Multi)-Channel||Contention-(based/free)||Diff. Service||Topology||Cross-Layering|
|T-MAC ||single||free (scheduling-based)||no||clustered||no|
based (IEEE 802.11)
|COM-MAC ||multi||free (scheduling-based)||yes||clustered||-|
|Diff. Service Model ||-||-||yes||flat||-|
|MAC Protocol in ||single||based (CSMA)||yes||flat||no|
|Cross-layer Architecture in ||multi (UWB)||free||yes||flat||yes|
|EQ-MAC ||single||based (collision-free)||yes||flat (static)||yes|
|Node Admission ||single||free (TDMA)||no||flat||yes|
|UWB Technology in ||multi||free||yes||flat||yes|
|Swarm-based LANMAR ||✓||✓|
|Radio-Disjoint routing ||✓|
|Modified Direct Diffusion ||✓|
|PPDD-based QoS routing ||✓||✓|
|Multimedia-aware MMSPEED ||✓||✓|
|Wireless Mote||Microcontroller||Memory||Radio||Data Rate|
|Lightweight-class||Mica2||ATmega128L (8 bit)|
|4 KB||512 KB||CC1000||38.4 Kbps|
|Mica2Dot||ATmega128L (8 bit)|
|4 KB||512 KB||CC1000||38.4 Kbps|
|MicaZ||ATmega128L (8 bit)|
|4 KB||512 KB||CC2420||250 Kbps|
|FireFly||ATmega1281 (8 bit)|
|8 KB||128 KB||CC2420||250 Kbps|
|Intermediate-class||Tmote Sky||MSP430 F1611 (16 bit)|
|10 KB||48 KB||CC2420||250 Kbps|
|TelosB||Tl MSP430 (16 bit)|
|10 KB||1 MB||CC2420||250 Kbps|
|PDA-class||lmote2||PXA271 XScale (32 bit)|
|256 KB + 32MB SDRAM||32 MB||CC2420||250 Kbps|
|Stargate||PXA255 XScale (32 bit)|
|64 MB||32 MB||CC2420|
|Platform||Processor||Memory||Camera & Resolution||Radio||Power consumption|
|Cyclops ||8-bit ATMEl|
ATmega128L MCU + CPLD
|64 KB||512 KB||Agilent compact CIF|
128×128 @ 10fps
|Interfaced with Mica2 or Micaz IEEE 802.15.4||110 mW – 0.76 mW|
|Imote2 + Cam  ||32-bit PXA271|
XScale processor (Imote2)
|256 KB (Imote2)||32 MB (Imote2)||IMB400 camera|
640×[email protected] fps
|Integrated CC2420 IEEE 802.15.4||322 mW – 1.8 mW|
|FireFly Mosaic ||60MHz 32-bit|
|64 KB||128 KB||CMUCam3|
352×288 @ 50 fps
|Interfaced with FireFly mote IEEE 802.15.4||572.3 mW – 0.29 mW|
|eCam ||OV 528 serial-bridge controller|
JPEG compression only
|4 KB (Eco)||-||CoMedia C328–7640 (includes OV7640)|
640×480 @ 30 fps
|Interfaced with Eco wireless mote nRF24El radio RF 2.4 GHz 1Mbps||70 mA at 3.3V|
|MeshEye ||55 MHz 32-bit|
ARM7TDMI based on ATMEL AT91SAM7S
|64 KB||256 KB||Agilent ADNS-3060|
640×480 @ 10 fps
|Integrated CC2420 IEEE 802.15.4||175.9 mW – 1.78 mW|
|Panoptes ||400 MHz 32-bit|
|64 MB (Stargate)||32 MB (Stargate)||Logitech 3000 USB Camera|
160×120 @ 30 fps
640×480 @ 13 fps
|PCMCIA IEEE 802.11 wireless card||5.3 W – 58 mW|
|Wica ||84 MHz Xetal II|
|1.79 MB + 128 KB DP RAM||64 KB||VGA color camera|
640×480 @ 30 fps
|Aquis Grain ZigBee IEEE 802.15.4||600 mW max|
|MicrelEye ||8-bit ATMEL|
FPSLIC (includes 40kG FPGA)
|36 KB + 1 MB external SRAM||-||Omnivision OV7640|
320×240 @ 15 fps
|LMX9820A Bluetooth 230.4 Kbps||500 mW max|
|WiSN ||48 MHz 32-bit|
ARM7TDMI based on ATMEL AT91SAM7S
|64 KB||256 KB||Agilent ADCM-1670|
352×288 @ 15 fps
30×30 @ 100 fps
|Integrated CC2420 IEEE 802.15.4||110 mA – 3 mA at 3.3V|
|CITRIC ||624 MHz 32-bit Intel XScale PXA270 CPU||64 MB||16 MB||Omnivision OV9655|
1280×1024 @ 15 fps
640×480 @ 30 fps
|Interfaced with T mote Sky mote IEEE 802.15.4||1 W max|
|Fox + Cam ||100 MHz LX416 Fox board||16 MB||4 MB||Labtec Webcam bro QuickCam Zoom 640×480||USB Bluetooth IEEE 802.15 100 m||1.5 W at 5 V|
|XYZ + Cam ||58MHz 32-bit ARM7TDMI based on OKIML67Q5002 (XYZ)||32 KB (XYZ)||256 KB + 2 MB on board (XYZ)||Omnivision OV7649|
320×240 @ 4.1 fps
|Integrated CC2420 IEEE 802.15.4 (XYZ)||238.6 mW – 2.2 mW|
|Testbed Name||Camera & Resolution||Wireless Mote||Additional Features|
|Software - Testbeds||WiSNAP||Includes device library of:|
|Includes device library of:|
|- Matlab-based testbed|
- Open source APIs
- Multimedia processing primitives
|AER Emulator||OmniVision OV7649|
640×480 @ 30 fps
320×240 @ 60 fps
|- VisualC++ based testbed|
- AE recognition
|Hardware - Testbeds||Meerkat||Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000|
|- Energy efficient|
- Event detection
PTZ Sony SNC-RZ30N
|Mica2 IEEE 802.15.4|
Stargate IEEE 802.11
|- Multi-level resolution|
- surveillance application
|IrisNet||Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000|
|Stargate||- Internet-like queries|
|- Mobile robot|
- electronic compass and ranging devices for navigation
|Mobile Emulab||Overhead Hitachi KP-D20A|
|Mica2 IEEE 802.15.4|
Stargate IEEE 802.11b
|- Mobile robot|
- Evaluate mobility-related network protocols
|WMSN-testbed||Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000|
176 × 144 @ 15 fps
|Micaz IEEE 802.15.4|
Stargate IEEE 802.11b
|- Mobile robot|
- Multi-level resolution
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