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Proceedings Paper

Analytical approach to cross-layer protocol optimization in wireless sensor networks
Author(s): William S. Hortos
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Paper Abstract

In the distributed operations of route discovery and maintenance, strong interaction occurs across mobile ad hoc network (MANET) protocol layers. Quality of service (QoS) requirements of multimedia service classes must be satisfied by the cross-layer protocol, along with minimization of the distributed power consumption at nodes and along routes to battery-limited energy constraints. In previous work by the author, cross-layer interactions in the MANET protocol are modeled in terms of a set of concatenated design parameters and associated resource levels by multivariate point processes (MVPPs). Determination of the "best" cross-layer design is carried out using the optimal control of martingale representations of the MVPPs. In contrast to the competitive interaction among nodes in a MANET for multimedia services using limited resources, the interaction among the nodes of a wireless sensor network (WSN) is distributed and collaborative, based on the processing of data from a variety of sensors at nodes to satisfy common mission objectives. Sensor data originates at the nodes at the periphery of the WSN, is successively transported to other nodes for aggregation based on information-theoretic measures of correlation and ultimately sent as information to one or more destination (decision) nodes. The "multimedia services" in the MANET model are replaced by multiple types of sensors, e.g., audio, seismic, imaging, thermal, etc., at the nodes; the QoS metrics associated with MANETs become those associated with the quality of fused information flow, i.e., throughput, delay, packet error rate, data correlation, etc. Significantly, the essential analytical approach to MANET cross-layer optimization, now based on the MVPPs for discrete random events occurring in the WSN, can be applied to develop the stochastic characteristics and optimality conditions for cross-layer designs of sensor network protocols. Functional dependencies of WSN performance metrics are described in terms of the concatenated protocol parameters. New source-to-destination routes are sought that optimize cross-layer interdependencies to achieve the "best available" performance in the WSN. The protocol design, modified from a known reactive protocol, adapts the achievable performance to the transient network conditions and resource levels. Control of network behavior is realized through the conditional rates of the MVPPs. Optimal cross-layer protocol parameters are determined by stochastic dynamic programming conditions derived from models of transient packetized sensor data flows. Moreover, the defining conditions for WSN configurations, grouping sensor nodes into clusters and establishing data aggregation at processing nodes within those clusters, lead to computationally tractable solutions to the stochastic differential equations that describe network dynamics. Closed-form solution characteristics provide an alternative to the "directed diffusion" methods for resource-efficient WSN protocols published previously by other researchers. Performance verification of the resulting cross-layer designs is found by embedding the optimality conditions for the protocols in actual WSN scenarios replicated in a wireless network simulation environment. Performance tradeoffs among protocol parameters remain for a sequel to the paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2008
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 6961, Intelligent Computing: Theory and Applications VI, 69610A (15 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.782607
Show Author Affiliations
William S. Hortos, Associates in Communications Engineering Research and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6961:
Intelligent Computing: Theory and Applications VI
Kevin L. Priddy; Emre Ertin, Editor(s)

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