Loughborough University
Thesis-2013-Michopoulos.pdf (7.79 MB)

Congestion and medium access control in 6LoWPAN WSN

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posted on 2013-01-16, 13:08 authored by Vasilis Michopoulos
In computer networks, congestion is a condition in which one or more egressinterfaces are offered more packets than are forwarded at any given instant [1]. In wireless sensor networks, congestion can cause a number of problems including packet loss, lower throughput and poor energy efficiency. These problems can potentially result in a reduced deployment lifetime and underperforming applications. Moreover, idle radio listening is a major source of energy consumption therefore low-power wireless devices must keep their radio transceivers off to maximise their battery lifetime. In order to minimise energy consumption and thus maximise the lifetime of wireless sensor networks, the research community has made significant efforts towards power saving medium access control protocols with Radio Duty Cycling. However, careful study of previous work reveals that radio duty cycle schemes are often neglected during the design and evaluation of congestion control algorithms. This thesis argues that the presence (or lack) of radio duty cycle can drastically influence the performance of congestion control mechanisms. To investigate if previous findings regarding congestion control are still applicable in IPv6 over low power wireless personal area and duty cycling networks; some of the most commonly used congestion detection algorithms are evaluated through simulations. The research aims to develop duty cycle aware congestion control schemes for IPv6 over low power wireless personal area networks. The proposed schemes must be able to maximise the networks goodput, while minimising packet loss, energy consumption and packet delay. Two congestion control schemes, namely DCCC6 (Duty Cycle-Aware Congestion Control for 6LoWPAN Networks) and CADC (Congestion Aware Duty Cycle MAC) are proposed to realise this claim. DCCC6 performs congestion detection based on a dynamic buffer. When congestion occurs, parent nodes will inform the nodes contributing to congestion and rates will be readjusted based on a new rate adaptation scheme aiming for local fairness. The child notification procedure is decided by DCCC6 and will be different when the network is duty cycling. When the network is duty cycling the child notification will be made through unicast frames. On the contrary broadcast frames will be used for congestion notification when the network is not duty cycling. Simulation and test-bed experiments have shown that DCCC6 achieved higher goodput and lower packet loss than previous works. Moreover, simulations show that DCCC6 maintained low energy consumption, with average delay times while it achieved a high degree of fairness. CADC, uses a new mechanism for duty cycle adaptation that reacts quickly to changing traffic loads and patterns. CADC is the first dynamic duty cycle pro- tocol implemented in Contiki Operating system (OS) as well as one of the first schemes designed based on the arbitrary traffic characteristics of IPv6 wireless sensor networks. Furthermore, CADC is designed as a stand alone medium access control scheme and thus it can easily be transfered to any wireless sensor network architecture. Additionally, CADC does not require any time synchronisation algorithms to operate at the nodes and does not use any additional packets for the exchange of information between the nodes (For example no overhead). In this research, 10000 simulation experiments and 700 test-bed experiments have been conducted for the evaluation of CADC. These experiments demonstrate that CADC can successfully adapt its cycle based on traffic patterns in every traffic scenario. Moreover, CADC consistently achieved the lowest energy consumption, very low packet delay times and packet loss, while its goodput performance was better than other dynamic duty cycle protocols and similar to the highest goodput observed among static duty cycle configurations.



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© Vasilis Michopoulos

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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