Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

Document Type



A distributed wireless sensor network consists of numerous tiny autonomous sensing nodes deployed across a wide geographical area. These sensor nodes self organize and establish radio communication links with the neighboring nodes to form multi-hop routing paths to the central base station. The dynamic and lossy nature of wireless communication poses several challenges in reliable transfer of data from the sensor nodes to the sink. There are several applications of sensor networks wherein the data collected by the sensors in the network are critical and hence have to be reliably transported to the sink. An example of such an application is sensors with RFID readers mounted on them to read tag information from the objects in a factory warehouse. Here, the tag information recorded by the RFID reader is a critical piece of information which may not be available at a later point of time and hence has to be reliably transported to the sink. We study the various issues and analyze the design choices proposed in literature in addressing the challenge of sensors-to-sink reliable data communication in such applications. A cross-layer based protocol with MAC layer retransmissions and NACK (Negative Acknowledgment) based rerouting of data packets is developed to overcome link failures and provide reliability. The protocol is implemented on TinyOS and the performance of NACK based rerouting protocol in terms of percentage successful message reception is compared with NACK based retransmission protocol by running simulations on TOSSIM. The NACK based rerouting protocol provides greater reliability under different metrics like varying network size, network traffic and percentage of failed links in the network.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Rajgopal Kannan