adam-abstract

Abstract - lic thesis Adam Dunkels

This thesis builds the framework for investigating the use of the Internet
communication protocols, TCP/IP, for wireless sensor networks.

Over the last few years wireless sensor networks have gone from a research
vision to real-world prototypes and even actual deployments. In a real-world
deployment, several novel issues are highlighted. One of them is how to
reach the sensor network: this usually is done by connecting the sensor
network to existing network infrastructures.

This thesis takes a radical approach for connecting sensor networks to
existing networks: instead of using highly specialized protocols for
communication within the sensor network and specialized servers that
translate between the sensor protocols and the protocols on the existing
networks, this thesis investigates the use of the more general TCP/IP
protocol suite inside the sensor network. By using TCP/IP in the sensor
network, the sensors can be directly connected to an outside network without
the need for special servers or protocol converters.

Bringing TCP/IP to wireless sensor networks is a challenging task, however.
First, because of their limited physical size and low cost, sensors are
severely constrained in terms of processing power and memory. Traditionally,
these constraints have been considered too limiting for a sensor to be able
to use the TCP/IP protocols. This thesis shows that this is not the case,
but that even tiny sensors can communicate using TCP/IP. Second, the harsh
communication conditions make TCP/IP perform poorly in terms of both
throughput and energy efficiency. With this thesis, a number of
optimizations are presented that are intended to increase the performance of
TCP/IP for sensor networks. Preliminary results indicate large energy
savings compared to unoptimized TCP/IP.

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Last modified on February 2005 by Anne Moe