In recent years, IoT (Internet of Things) technologies have seen great advances, particularly, the IPv6 Routing Protocol for Low-power and Lossy Networks (RPL), which provides a powerful and flexible routing framework that can be applied in a variety of application scenarios. In this context, as an important role of IoT, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) can utilize RPL to design efficient routing protocols for a specific application to increase the ubiquity of networks with resource-constrained WSN nodes that are low-cost and easy to deploy. In this article, our work starts with the description of Agricultural Low-power and Lossy Networks (A-LLNs) complying with the LLN framework, and to clarify the requirements of this application-oriented routing solution. After a brief review of existing optimization techniques for RPL, our contribution is dedicated to a Scalable Context-Aware Objective Function (SCAOF) that can adapt RPL to the environmental monitoring of A-LLNs, through combining energy-aware, reliability-aware, robustness-aware and resource-aware contexts according to the composite routing metrics approach. The correct behavior of this enhanced RPL version (RPAL) was verified by performance evaluations on both simulation and field tests. The obtained experimental results confirm that SCAOF can deliver the desired advantages on network lifetime extension, and high reliability and efficiency in different simulation scenarios and hardware testbeds.
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