Adaptive Protocols for Information Dissemination in Wireless Sensor Networks

Joanna Kulik, Wendi Rabiner, Hari Balakrishnan
Proc. 5th ACM/IEEE Mobicom Conference, Seattle, WA, August 1999

 In this paper, we present a family of adaptive protocols, called SPIN (Sensor Protocols for Information via Negotiation), that efficiently disseminates information among sensors in an energy-constrained wireless sensor network. Nodes running a SPIN communication protocol name their data using high-level data descriptors, called meta-data. They use meta-data negotiations to eliminate the transmission of redundant data throughout the network. In addition, SPIN nodes can base their communication decisions both upon application-specific knowledge of the data and upon knowledge of the resources that are available to them. This allows the sensors to efficiently distribute data given a limited energy supply. We simulate and analyze the performance of two specific SPIN protocols, comparing them to other possible approaches and a theoretically optimal protocol. We find that the SPIN protocols can deliver 60% more data for a given amount of energy than conventional approaches. We also find that, in terms of dissemination rate and energy usage, the SPIN protocols perform close to the theoretical optimum.

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