You are on page 1of 21



Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are highly distributed networks of small, lightweight wireless nodes, deployed in large numbers. Monitors the environment or system by measuring physical parameters such as temperature, pressure, humidity. Node in a wireless sensor network that is capable of performing some processing, gathering sensory information and communicating with other connected nodes in the network. Wireless Sensor Networks have become a leading solution in many important applications such as intrusion detection, target tracking, industrial automation, smart building and so on. Typically, a WSN consists of a large number of small, low-cost sensor nodes that are distributed in the target area for collecting data of interest.

We live in a world filled with sensors. The buildings that we work in have sensors monitoring temperature, occupancy, smoke and fire, and security. Our cars contain dozens if not hundreds of sensors, monitoring engine performance, braking and passenger safety equipment, to name a few. Manufacturing environments need sensors because you cannot control what you cannot measure. Making products while meeting safety, quality and efficiency targets requires a lot of sensors.


The WSN is built of "nodes" from a few to several hundreds or even thousands, where each node is connected to one (or sometimes several) sensors. Each such sensor network node has typically several parts: a radio transceiver with an internal antenna or connection to an external antenna, a microcontroller, an electronic circuit for interfacing with the sensors and an energy source, usually a battery or an embedded form of energy harvesting.

Fig.1: wireless sensor network model and architecture A sensor node might vary in size from that of a shoebox down to the size of a grain of dust, although functioning "motes" of genuine microscopic dimensions have yet to be created. The cost of sensor nodes is similarly variable, ranging from a few to hundreds of dollars, depending on the complexity of the individual sensor nodes. Size and cost constraints on sensor nodes result in corresponding constraints on resources such as energy, memory, computational speed and communications bandwidth. The topology of the WSNs can vary from a simple star network to an advanced multi-hop wireless mesh network. The propagation technique between the hops of the network can be routing or flooding.[1] In computer science and telecommunication, wireless sensor networks are an active research area with numerous workshops and conferences arranged each year.

1.3 COMMUNICATION NETWORKS 1.3.1 Network Topology

The basic issue in communication networks is the transmission of messages to achieve a prescribed message throughput (Quantity of Service) and Quality of Service (QoS). QoS can be specified in terms of message delay, message due dates, bit error rates, packet loss, economic cost of transmission, transmission power, etc. Depending on QoS, the installation environment, economic considerations, and the application, one of several basic network topologies may be used. A communication network is composed of nodes, each of which has computing power and can transmit and receive messages over communication links, wireless or cabled. The basic

network topologies are shown in the figure and include fully connected, mesh, star, ring, tree, bus. A single network may consist of several interconnected subnets of different topologies. Networks are further classified as Local Area Networks (LAN), e.g. inside one building, or Wide Area Networks (WAN), e.g. between buildings.

Fig.2: topologies

All nodes of the star topology are connected to a single hub node. The hub requires greater message handling, routing, and decision-making capabilities than the other nodes. If a communication link is cut, it only affects one node. However, if the hub is incapacitated the network is destroyed. In the ring topology all nodes perform the same function and there is no leader node. Messages generally travel around the ring in a single direction. However, if the ring is cut, all communication is lost. In the bus topology, messages are broadcast on the bus to all nodes. Each node checks the destination address in the message header, and processes the messages addressed to it. The bus topology is passive in that each node simply listens for messages and is not responsible for retransmitting any messages. Fully connected networks suffer from problems of NP-complexity [Garey1979]; as additional nodes are added, the number of links increases exponentially. Therefore, for large networks, the routing problem is computationally intractable even with the availability of

large amounts of computing power. Mesh networks are regularly distributed networks that generally allow transmission only to a nodes nearest neighbo urs. The nodes in these networks are generally identical, so that mesh nets are also referred to as peer-to-peer (see below) nets. Mesh nets can be good models for large-scale networks of wireless sensors that are distributed over a geographic region, e.g. personnel or vehicle security surveillance systems. Note that the regular structure reflects the communications topology; the actual geographic distribution of the nodes need not be a regular mesh. Since there are generally multiple routing paths between nodes, these nets are robust to failure of individual nodes or links. An advantage of mesh nets is that, although all nodes may be identical and have the same computing and transmission capabilities, certain nodes can be designated as group leaders that take on additional functions. If a group leader is disabled, another node can then take over these duties.

1.4 Applications:
The application areas for wireless sensors is limited only by imagination. Building automation Environmental monitoring Depot areas (e.g. Bus depot - accumulate and heater controls) Harbour areas Airports Oil platforms and -harbours Industrial areas Tank farms (levels, valves, etc.) Parks

Movable sensors Cold room monitoring and control systems Agriculture Factories, storages Visitor counters Snow on roof alarms ATEX sensors. [2]

1.5 Characteristics
The main characteristics of a WSN include: Power consumption constrains for nodes using batteries or energy harvesting Ability to cope with node failures Mobility of nodes Communication failures Heterogeneity of nodes Scalability to large scale of deployment Ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions Ease of use Sensor nodes can be imagined as small computers, extremely basic in terms of their interfaces and their components. They usually consist of a processing unit with limited computational power and limited memory, sensors or MEMS (including specific conditioning circuitry), a communication device (usually radio transceivers or alternatively

optical), and a power source usually in the form of a battery. Other possible inclusions are energy harvesting modules, secondary ASICs, and possibly secondary communication devices (e.g. RS-232 or USB. The base stations are one or more components of the WSN with much more computational, energy and communication resources. They act as gateway between sensor nodes and the end user as they typically forward data from the WSN on to a server. Other special components in routing based networks are routers, designed to compute, calculate and distribute the routing tables.


Transmission control protocol (TCP) is one of the main protocol in TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/Internet protocol), the suite of communications protocols that is used to connect Host on the Internet and on most other computer networks as well. A protocol is a mutually agreed-upon format for doing something. With regard to computers, it is most commonly used to refer to a set of rules (i.e., a standard) that enables computers to connect and transmit data to one another. This is also referred to as a communications protocol. TCP is a connection-oriented protocol, which means that it establishes and maintains a virtual connection between hosts until such time as the message or messages to be exchanged by the application programs running on them have been exchanged. It divides any message to be transmitted into packets, numbers them, and then forwards them individually to the IP program layer. Although each packet has the same destination IP address it may get routed differently through the network. TCP uses error correction and data stream control techniques to ensure that packets to arrive at their intended destinations uncorrupted and in the correct sequence, thereby making the point-to-point connection virtually error-free. Packets are the most fundamental unit of data transmission on TCP/IP networks. TCP operates at the transport layer, i.e., the middle layer in the OSI (open systems interconnection) seven layer model. This layer is responsible for maintaining reliable end-to-

end communications across the network. IP, in contrast, is a network layer protocol, which is the layer just below the transport layer. Also operating at the transport layer are UDP (user datagram protocol), RTP (real-time transport protocol) and SCTP (stream control transmission protocol). TCP is used by most of application protocols that require reliable transmission of all data, such as HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), FTP (file transfer protocol), SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) and IMAP (Internet message access protocol). The transport layer can be thought of as a transport mechanism, e.g., a vehicle with the responsibility to make sure that its contents (passengers/goods) reach their destination safely and soundly, unless another protocol layer is responsible for safe delivery. The layer simply establishes a basic data channel that an application uses in its task-specific data exchange. For this purpose the layer establishes the concept of the port, a numbered logical construct allocated specifically for each of the communication channels an application needs. For many types of services, these port numbers have been standardized so that client computers may address specific services of a server computer without the involvement of service announcements or directory services. Since IP provides only a best effort delivery, the transport layer is the first layer of the TCP/IP stack to offer reliability. IP can run over a reliable data link protocol such as the High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC). For example, the TCP is a connection-oriented protocol that addresses numerous reliability issues to provide a reliable byte stream:

data arrives in-order data has minimal error (i.e. correctness) duplicate data is discarded lost/discarded packets are resent includes traffic congestion control

1.6.1 TCP over wireless networks TCP has been optimized for wired networks. Any packet loss is considered to be the result of network congestion and the congestion window size is reduced dramatically as a precaution. However, wireless links are known to experience sporadic and usually temporary losses due to fading, shadowing, hand off, and other radio effects, that cannot be considered congestion. After the (erroneous) back-off of the congestion window size, due to wireless packet loss, there can be a congestion avoidance phase with a conservative decrease in window size. This causes the radio link to be underutilized. Extensive research has been done on the subject of how to combat these harmful effects. Suggested solutions can be categorized as end-to-end solutions (which require modifications at the client or server),[3] link layer solutions (such as RLP in cellular networks), or proxy based solutions (which require some changes in the network without modifying end nodes).[3][4] A number of alternative congestion control algorithms have been proposed to help solve the wireless problem, such as Vegas, Westwood, Veno and Santa Cruz. 1.6.2 Protocol operation TCP protocol operations may be divided into three phases. Connections must be properly established in a multi-step handshake process (connection establishment) before entering the data transfer phase. After data transmission is completed, the connection termination closes established virtual circuits and releases all allocated resources. A TCP connection is managed by an operating system through a programming interface that represents the local end-point for communications, the Internet socket. During the lifetime of a TCP connection the local end-point undergoes a series of state changes: LISTEN (server) represents waiting for a connection request from any remote TCP and port. SYN-SENT (client) represents waiting for a matching connection request after having sent a connection request.


(server) represents waiting for a confirming connection request acknowledgment after having both received and sent a connection request.

Fig.3: A Simplified TCP State Diagram.


(both server and client) represents an open connection, data received can be delivered to the user. The normal state for the data transfer phase of the connection.


(both server and client) represents waiting for a connection termination request from the remote TCP, or an acknowledgment of the connection termination request previously sent.


(both server and client) represents waiting for a connection termination request from the remote TCP.


(both server and client) represents waiting for a connection termination request from the local user.


(both server and client) represents waiting for a connection termination request acknowledgment from the remote TCP.


(both server and client) represents waiting for an acknowledgment of the connection termination request previously sent to the remote TCP (which includes an acknowledgment of its connection termination request).


(either server or client) represents waiting for enough time to pass to be sure the remote TCP received the acknowledgment of its connection termination request. [According to RFC793 a connection can stay in TIME-WAIT for a maximum of four minutes known as a MSL(maximum segment lifetime).]


(both server and client) represents no connection state at all.

1.7 Connection establishment

To establish a connection, TCP uses a three-way handshake. Before a client attempts to

connect with a server, the server must first bind to and listen at a port to open it up for connections: this is called a passive open. Once the passive open is established, a client may initiate an active open. To establish a connection, the three-way (or 3-step) handshake occurs: 1.7.1 SYN: The active open is performed by the client sending a SYN to the server. The client sets the segment's sequence number to a random value A. 1.7.2 SYN-ACK: In response, the server replies with a SYN-ACK. The acknowledgment number is set to one more than the received sequence number (A + 1), and the sequence number that the server chooses for the packet is another random number, B. 1.7.3 ACK: Finally, the client sends an ACK back to the server. The sequence number is set to the received acknowledgement value i.e. A + 1, and the acknowledgement number is set to one more than the received sequence number i.e. B + 1. At this point, both the client and server have received an acknowledgment of the connection. The steps 1, 2 establish the connection parameter (sequence number) for one direction and it is acknowledged. The steps 2, 3 establish the connection parameter (sequence number) for the other direction and it is acknowledged. With these, a full-duplex communication is established.

1.8 Connection termination

The connection termination phase uses a four-way handshake, with each side of the connection terminating independently. When an endpoint wishes to stop its half of the connection, it transmits a FIN packet, which the other end acknowledges with an ACK. Therefore, a typical tear-down requires a pair of FIN and ACK segments from each TCP endpoint. After both FIN/ACK exchanges are concluded, the side which sent the first FIN before receiving one waits for a timeout before finally closing the connection, during which time the local port is unavailable for new connections; this prevents confusion due to delayed packets being delivered during subsequent connections.


Fig.4: Connection termination A connection can be half-open, in which case one side has terminated its end, but the other has not. The side that has terminated can no longer send any data into the connection, but the other side can. The terminating side should continue reading the data until the other side terminates as well. It is also possible to terminate the connection by a 3-way handshake, when host A sends a FIN and host B replies with a FIN & ACK (merely combines 2 steps into one) and host A replies with an ACK.[5] This is perhaps the most common method. It is possible for both hosts to send FINs simultaneously then both just have to ACK. This could possibly be considered a 2-way handshake since the FIN/ACK sequence is done in parallel for both directions.


Performance enhancement: TCP is known to exhibit poor performance in wireless environments (wireless ad hoc networks), both in terms of throughput and energy efficiency, Congestion control, reliability guarantee, and energy conservation. Poor utilization of highspeed and long-delay network channels by standard TCP flows,[6] Efficient channel utilization, reliable detection of congestion events in separate and common network paths, and user fairness,[7] and likewise there are multiple problems.



1. Chong gang Wang, Kazem Sohraby, Yueming Hu, Bo Li, and Weiwen Tang Issues of Transport Control Protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks 2005 JEEE

In this paper, we present a survey on transport control protocol for wireless sensor networks First we give out the limitation of TCP and UDP protocols and explain why they are not suitable for wireless sensor networks. Second we briefly review several existing transport control protocols for wireless sensor networks, and list out several problems of the existing protocols. 2. Ka-Cheong Leung, Member, Victor O.K. Li, and Daiqin Yang An Overview of Packet Reordering in Transmission Control Protocol (TCP): Problems, Solutions, and Challenges IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PARALLEL AND DISTRIBUTED SYSTEMS, VOL. 18, NO. 4, APRIL 2007

Packet-level multipath routing, route fluttering, inherent parallelism in modern high-speed routers, link layer retransmissions, and router forwarding lulls are major causes of packet reordering. With persistent and substantial packet reordering, TCP spuriously retransmits segments, keeps its congestion window unnecessarily small, loses its ACK-clocking, and understates the estimated RTT (and, thus, RTO). Also proposed some future research directions, including the need of a mechanism to resolve the potential loss of ACK-clocking due to reverse-path reordering, improved retransmission timer management, the development of an integrated solution for all types of non congestion loss, the formulation of an improved selective acknowledgement mechanism, and the quantitative assessment on the causes of packet reordering.

3. Sha Liu, Shoubao Yang and Weifeng Sun Collaborative SCTP: A Collaborative Approach to Improve the Performance of SCTP over Wired-cum-Wireless Networks IEEE

This paper presented the Collaborative SCTP comprising of SCTP-aware disassembly and reassembly functions, log of chunks bundle, mechanism to differentiate wireless loss from congestion loss, wireless channel monitor, and the system dynamic configuration. Simulation results show that such a collaborative approach can greatly improve the good put and bandwidth utilization efficiency, especially in high BER environment. It should also be aware that the BER estimation is quite coarse, which is caused by the following facts: a. To simplify the calculation of BER MLE, the mean length of all sample frames is used as an approximation; b. For frames that ultimately failed to be transmitted and discarded by the data link layer, the system records its transmission count as the maximum transmission count plus one, which is an approximation; c. Relatively small sample size; d. Chances are that some moving wireless stations are unaware of certain RTS/CTS exchanges, which may cause sending collisions and overestimation of BER. Our future work is first to refine the BER estimator aiming at the four points listed above. In addition, the incorporation of Collaborative SCTP with some TCP enhancing schemes in the literature like Snoop, TCP-Probing and ECN should be worthwhile. Besides that, performance studies of such a collaborative approach in mobile ad hoc networks or other wireless access technologies are also interesting and necessary. 4. S.Ganesh and Dr.R.Amutha Energy Efficient Transport Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks 2009 IEEE

In this paper, we have presented TCP Segment Caching. It enhances TCP performance in sensor networks both in terms of energy efficiency and throughput. The TCP segment caching achieves this by caching TCP segments inside the sensor network and retransmitting lost segments locally. Furthermore, the segment caching shifts the burden of the load from vulnerable nodes close to the base station into the sensor network. There are more ideas and tradeoffs to be explored. The future work may explore the following Possibilities: An Adaptive congestion control that integrates end-to-end and hop-by-hop may be more helpful for wireless sensor networks with diverse applications on it, and useful for energyconservation and simplification of sensor operation.

An Adaptive recovery mechanism is required to support packet-level and application-level reliability, and to be helpful for energy-conservation. Existing transport control protocols have hardly implemented any cross-layer optimization. However lower layers such as network layer and MAC layer can provide useful information up to transport layer. A new effective and cross-layer optimized transport control protocol can be available through such cross-layer optimization. For some application, WSNs only needs to correctly receive packets from a certain area and not from every sensor nodes in this area, or some ratio of successful transmission from a sensor node will be sufficient. These new reliability can be utilized to design more efficient transport control protocols. 5. Prasanthi.S and Sang-Hwa Chung An Efficient Algorithm for the Performance of TCP over Multi-hop Wireless Mesh Networks 2010 IEEE DOI 10.1109/ITNG.2010.129

In this paper, we evaluated the performance of TCPSAC over multi-hop wireless mesh networks through extensive simulations using Qualnet. The simulation results have confirmed that TCP SAC has a significant improvement over TCP New Reno. Two salient features of TCP SAC contribute to this improvement. First, reduced the retransmission timeout caused by retransmission loss. Second, adjusted the size of ssthresh and cwnd in Fast Retransmit and Recovery algorithms. These two features help TCP SAC to increase the performance of TCP over multi-hop wireless mesh networks. In future work, we intend to further evaluate TCP SAC in different topologies having more number of nodes

6. Jemish V. Maisuria and Rahul M. Patel Overview of Techniques for Improving QoS of TCP over Wireless Links 2012 IEEE DOI 10.1109/CSNT.2012.86

Today the world is going towards wireless network as well as high data rates on it and most of them are using hybrid ARQ technique for scheduling packet and according to us TCP aware dynamic ARQ is same one as above. In this paper, we have presented a comparative analysis of several techniques to improve the end-to-end performance of TCP over lossy, wireless hops. We categorize these techniques as end-to-end, link-layer or split-connection based. In future work, it would be interesting to further investigate the influence on end-toend performance of including extra TCP parameters, such as the cwnd, in the packet priority

weighting function.

7. Jonas Karlsson, Per Hurtig, Anna Brunstrom and Andreas Kassler and Giovanni Di Stasi Impact of Multi-path Routing on TCP Performance 2012 IEEE

In this paper, we have evaluated TCP performance using different multi-path traffic allocation strategies and TCP reordering mitigation techniques. This allows the benefit of load-balancing the traffic over multiple paths while avoiding the drawback of packet reordering. The Linux TCP implementation, with built-in reordering robustness, was able to benefit from allocation decisions on a per-packet basis in a simple scenario with a single flow. In all other tested settings, TCP throughput was equal or higher with flow based allocation. We are currently evaluating more complex topologies and traffic patterns. Furthermore, as our current evaluation is limited to single path TCP, our future work will also evaluate multi-path transport layer protocols, e.g. MPTCP.



A wired network connects devices to the Internet or other network using cables. The most common wired networks use cables connected to Ethernet ports on the network router on one end and to a computer or other device on the cable's opposite end. In the past, some believed wired networks were faster and more secure than wireless networks. But continual enhancements to wireless networking standards and technologies have eroded those speed and security differences. Wireless network refers to any type of computer network that uses wireless (usually, but not always radio waves) for network connections. It is a method by which homes, telecommunication networks and enterprise (business) installations avoid the costly process of introducing cables into a building, or as a connection between various equipment locations.[8] Wireless telecommunications networks are generally implemented and administered using radio communication. This implementation takes place at the physical level (layer) of the OSI model network structure.[9] The Benefits Small businesses can experience many benefits from a wireless network, including: Convenience- Access your network resources from any location within your wireless network's coverage area or from any Wi-Fi hotspot. Mobility- You're no longer tied to your desk, as you were with a wired connection. You and your employees can go online in conference room meetings, for example. Productivity- Wireless access to the Internet and to your company's key applications and resources helps your staff get the job done and encourages collaboration. Easy setup- You don't have to string cables, so installation can be quick and costeffective.


Expandable- You can easily expand wireless networks with existing equipment, while a wired network might require additional wiring. Security- Advances in wireless networks provide robust security protections. Cost- Because wireless networks eliminate or reduce wiring costs, they can cost less to operate than wired networks. 3.2 APPLICATIONS OF WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORKS

WSNs can be applied in a wide range of areas, such as: habitat monitoring and tracking, disaster relief, emergency rescue operation, home networks, detecting chemical / explosive material, monitoring patents, traffic control, etc. Some broad areas of application are: Military: Military situation awareness. Sensing intruders on basis. Detection of enemy unit movements on land and sea. Battle field surveillances Medical and health: Sensors for blood flow, respiratory rate, ECG (electrocardiogram). Monitoring peoples location and health condition. Environmental monitoring: Air pollution monitoring. Forest fires detection. Greenhouse monitoring. Landslide detection. Volcano monitoring. Traffic Management & Monitoring: Traffic congestion control. Road Surface Condition Monitoring.[10]



Link Layer Issues The two major services the link layer provides to higher layers are formation of link-layer topology (or infrastructure) and regulation of channel access among the nodes. Like in all shared-medium networks, medium access control (MAC) is important for successful operation of network. Current MAC design for wireless networks can be broadly divided into two categories: contention based and explicit organization in time/frequency/code domains. These contention based schemes are clearly not suitable for sensor networks due to their requirement for radio transceivers to monitor the channels at all times. This is particularly expensive operation for the low radio ranges of interest for sensor networks, where transmission and reception have almost have the same energy cost. One would like to turn off the radios when no information is to be sent or received.

Routing Perhaps the most directly relevant to sensor networks is the ongoing work on ad-hoc wireless networks. A central focus of the work in the ad-hoc wireless networking has been the design of proactive routing protocols. Proactive routing protocols continuously compute nodes to all nodes so that a route is already available when a packet needs to be sent to a node. Such continuous route computation is highly energy inefficient. Reactive routing protocols on the other hand start route discovery process only when a packet needs to be sent.

Location mechanism The problem of localization, that is, determining where a given sensor is physically located in a network, is a challenging one, and yet extremely crucial for many of the envisioned applications of sensor networks. For example, localization opens up new ways of reducing power consumption in multi hop wireless networks.

Coverage and exposure One of the fundamental issue that arise in sensor networks in addition to location management, deployment and power management is coverage. Coverage can be considered as the measure of Quality of Service offered by a sensor network.

Security Challenges in Wireless Sensor Networks


Most WSN routing protocols are quite simple thus sometimes even more susceptible to attacks. Most network layer attacks against sensor networks falls under one of the following categories: Selective forwarding, Sinkhole attacks, Sybil attacks, Wormholes, HELLO flood attacks, Spoofed/Altered/Replayed routing information, Acknowledgement spoofing. Some security issues that must need attention in wireless sensor networks are as follows: Secure routing, Secure discovery and verification of location, Key establishment and trust setup, Attacks against sensor nodes, Secure group management, and Secure data aggregation.

Some open problems list :

Enhancing the performance of TCP over Wi-Fi power saving mechanisms On energy efficiency of geographic opportunistic routing in lossy multihop wireless networks Energy-efficient skyline query optimization in wireless sensor networks

Analysis improvement of TCP performance in opportunistic networks and many more.


1. Sohraby, K., Minoli, D., Znati, T. "Wireless sensor networks: technology, protocols, and applications, John Wiley and Sons", 2007 ISBN 978-0-471-74300-2, pp. 203209 2. 3. Forouzan, Behrouz A. (2003). TCP/IP Protocol Suite (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill ISBN 0-07246060-1. 4. TCP performance over CDMA2000 RLP Retrieved 2010-08-30. 5. Muhammad Adeel & Ahmad Ali Iqbal (2004).TCP Congestion Window Optimizatio n for CDMA2000 Packet Networks. International Conference on Information Technology (ITNG'07): 3135. 6. Tanenbaum, Andrew S. (2003-03-17). Computer Networks (Fourth ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-066102-3. 7. A. Caro Jr, J. Iyengar, P. Amer, S. Ladha, and K. Shah, SCTP: a proposed standard for robust internet data transport, Computer, vol. 36, no. 11, pp. 5663, 2003.

8. Overview of Wireless Retrieved 2008-02-08 9. Getting to Know Wireless Networks and Retrieved 2008-0208 10. Dargie, W. and Poellabauer, C., "Fundamentals of wireless sensor networks: theory and practice", John Wiley and Sons, 2010 ISBN 978-0-470-99765-9, pp. 168183, 191192