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Open AccessArticle

A Practical Neighbor Discovery Framework for Wireless Sensor Networks

Cyberspace Institute of Advanced Technology, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
College of Computer Science and Technology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
Department of Computer Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
School of Information Technology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S5B6, Canada
Institute of Cyberspace Research, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1887;
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Systems in Sensor Networks and Internet of Things)
Neighbor discovery is a crucial operation frequently executed throughout the life cycle of a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). Various protocols have been proposed to minimize the discovery latency or to prolong the lifetime of sensors. However, none of them have addressed that all the critical concerns stemming from real WSNs, including communication collisions, latency constraints and energy consumption limitations. In this paper, we propose Spear, the first practical neighbor discovery framework to meet all these requirements. Spear offers two new methods to reduce communication collisions, thus boosting the discovery rate of existing neighbor discovery protocols. Spear also takes into consideration latency constraints and facilitates timely adjustments in order to reduce the discovery latency. Spear offers two practical energy management methods that evidently prolong the lifetime of sensor nodes. Most importantly, Spear automatically improves the discovery results of existing discovery protocols, on which no modification is required. Beyond reporting details of different Spear modules, we also present experiment evaluations on several notable neighbor discovery protocols. Results show that Spear greatly improves the discovery rate from 33.0% to 99.2%, and prolongs the sensor nodes lifetime up to 6.47 times. View Full-Text
Keywords: neighbor discovery; wireless sensor networks; communication collision; latency; energy consumption neighbor discovery; wireless sensor networks; communication collision; latency; energy consumption
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Gu, Z.; Wang, Y.; Shi, W.; Tian, Z.; Ren, K.; Lau, F.C. A Practical Neighbor Discovery Framework for Wireless Sensor Networks. Sensors 2019, 19, 1887.

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