Improving the Energy Efficiency of WSN by Using Application-Layer Topologies to Constrain RPL-defined Routing Trees

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Bruno Filipe Marques
Manuel Ricardo
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The deployment of thousands of tiny devices inter-networked together and accessible through the Internet is the result of the increasing trend towards enabling the concepts of Internet-of-Things. As these devices may be scattered in a unplanned way, a routing protocol is needed. The RPL protocol is the IETF proposed standard protocol for IPv6-based multi-hop Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). RPL requires that communication paths go through a central router which may provide suboptimal paths, making no distinction of the applications the nodes run. To address these issues, an Application-Driven extension to RPL is proposed which enables the increase of the WSN lifetime by limiting the routing and forwarding functions of the network mainly to nodes running the same application. This paper evaluates the proposed solution coded in ContikiOS by means of Cooja simulations, and compares it against regular RPL. Simulation results confirm that the proposed solution provides lower energy consumption, lower end-to-end delays, and lower total number of packets transmitted and received.