AbstractsComputer Science

Analysis of the Cost of Handover in a Mobile Wireless Sensor Network

by Qian Dong

Institution: Technische Universität Dresden
Department: Fakultät Informatik
Degree: PhD
Year: 2013
Record ID: 1118139
Full text PDF: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:14-qucosa-107578


Handling mobility in wireless sensor networks can pose formidable challenges in protocol design, especially, at the link layer. Since most of the proposed Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols do not accommodate mobility, a node has two options to deal with a deteriorating link: (a) to continue data transmission until the link breaks and then establishes a new link with a new relay node; or (b) to seamlessly transfer the communication to a better link parallel to the data transmission over the existing link. Different from option (a) where a node can only search for a new link after the original link disrupts, option (b) enables a node to perceive the change in the quality of a link in advance. The link quality prediction is implemented by an adaptive handover mechanism. Both approaches will inevitably introduce latency. This thesis aims to quantify and compare such latency. Specifically, it investigates the latency of packet transmission in a mobile wireless sensor network with and without the support of a handover mechanism. To start with, the thesis elaborates the effect of mobility on the performance of the existing MAC protocols, and the need to maintain an unbroken link during data transmission. To implement the handover, a target MAC protocol is required to be selected first. Since the Receiver-Initiated MAC protocol (RI-MAC) uses only short beacon and data packets during communication that substantially reduce overhearing, collision probability and data recovery cost, it is chosen as the carrier for the latency evaluation. Even though RI-MAC performs well in many aspects, it has several demerits. To address the monotonous increment in the backoff window size and to reduce the occurrence frequency of the dwell time, a burst data transmission pattern is adopted to optimize RI-MAC. With the optimization, the protocol reduces the long idle listening time that a node has to wait before data transmission, and thus, works well in a static scenario. However, due to the high probability of link disconnection, the burst data transmission does not perform well in case of mobility. For the sake of accommodating mobility, an adaptive handover mechanism is developed on top of the optimized RI-MAC. Once a node evaluates that the data packets cannot be completely transmitted before the link terminates, it will search for a new relay node while keeping communicating with the original collaborator. It is implemented by embedding a neighbor discovery request in a data packet that will be transmitted in a broadcast channel. Neighbors of the node will participate in the handover process as long as they are in an active state and their distance to the transmitter does not exceed a pre-defined threshold. As a proof-of-concept for the handover mechanism, a mathematical model is established. The transmission rate, the moving speed of human beings, the duty cycle and the network density are all taken into consideration. The analytical result shows that the communication latency decreases with an increment in the network density…