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Open AccessArticle

Reliability Evaluation for Clustered WSNs under Malware Propagation

Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Shaoxing University, Shaoxing 312000, China
College of Mathematics, Physics and Information Engineering, Jiaxing University, Jiaxing 314001, China
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
School of Information Technology, Deakin University, Burwood 3125, Australia
College of Computer Science and Technology, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rongxing Lu
Sensors 2016, 16(6), 855;
Received: 21 April 2016 / Revised: 4 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 10 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Security and Privacy in Sensor Networks)
PDF [2871 KB, uploaded 10 June 2016]


We consider a clustered wireless sensor network (WSN) under epidemic-malware propagation conditions and solve the problem of how to evaluate its reliability so as to ensure efficient, continuous, and dependable transmission of sensed data from sensor nodes to the sink. Facing the contradiction between malware intention and continuous-time Markov chain (CTMC) randomness, we introduce a strategic game that can predict malware infection in order to model a successful infection as a CTMC state transition. Next, we devise a novel measure to compute the Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) of a sensor node, which represents the reliability of a sensor node continuously performing tasks such as sensing, transmitting, and fusing data. Since clustered WSNs can be regarded as parallel-serial-parallel systems, the reliability of a clustered WSN can be evaluated via classical reliability theory. Numerical results show the influence of parameters such as the true positive rate and the false positive rate on a sensor node’s MTTF. Furthermore, we validate the method of reliability evaluation for a clustered WSN according to the number of sensor nodes in a cluster, the number of clusters in a route, and the number of routes in the WSN. View Full-Text
Keywords: wireless sensor network; reliability evaluation; malware propagation; epidemic theory; continuous-time Markov chain; reliability theory wireless sensor network; reliability evaluation; malware propagation; epidemic theory; continuous-time Markov chain; reliability theory

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Shen, S.; Huang, L.; Liu, J.; Champion, A.C.; Yu, S.; Cao, Q. Reliability Evaluation for Clustered WSNs under Malware Propagation. Sensors 2016, 16, 855.

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