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A Survey on Communication Protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks

  • Jang, Ingook ;
  • Pyeon, Dohoo ;
  • Kim, Sunwoo ;
  • Yoon, Hyunsoo
  • Received : 2013.07.10
  • Accepted : 2013.07.30
  • Published : 2013.12.30

Abstract

Improvements in wireless sensor network (WSN) technology have resulted in a large number of applications. WSNs have been mainly used for monitoring applications, but they are also applicable to target tracking, health care, and monitoring with multimedia data. Nodes are generally deployed in environments where the exhausted batteries of sensor nodes are difficult to charge or replace. The primary goal of communication protocols in WSNs is to maximize energy efficiency in order to prolong network lifetime. In this paper, various medium access control (MAC) protocols for synchronous/asynchronous and single/multi-channel WSNs are investigated. Single-channel MAC protocols are categorized into synchronous and asynchronous approaches, and the advantages and disadvantages of each protocol are presented. The different features required in multi-channel WSNs compared to single-channel WSNs are also investigated, and surveys on multi-channel MAC protocols proposed for WSNs are provided. Then, existing broadcast schemes in such MAC protocols and efficient multi-hop broadcast protocols proposed for WSNs are provided. The limitations and challenges in many communication protocols according to this survey are pointed out, which will help future researches on the design of communication protocols for WSNs.

Keywords

Medium access control;Synchronous/asynchronous MAC protocols;Single-channel/Multi-channel communication;Multihop broadcast;Energy efficiency

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