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2012 Third International Conference on Intelligent Control and Information Processing

July 15-17, 2012 - Dalian, China

Improved AODV Routing Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks

and Implementation Using OPNET
Yan Yu, Yubao Yao
AbstractOur society changes so fast, more and more people
have focused on the study of wireless communication technique
because of its scalability, low cost and continent deploy.
Nowadays, both Wireless Wide Area Network and Wireless
Personal Area Network has been given a lot of concern and
research. Wireless Sensor Network integrated the wireless
communication technique, sensor technology and computer
technology, is the foundation of "The Internet of things" and
tops the list of ten technology which has profound impact on
human future life. WSN has been widely used on military
defence, anti-terrorism, health and environmental monitoring,
and it has improved the connection between human, machine
and environment to a new level. Obviously, all these
appalication need the WSN to be lower power consumption,
rapid topology, good real-time and so on. Above all, low power
consumption bears the brunt. In order to improve the
performance of the network and increase the lifetime of the
network, we need to lower the power consumption of sensor
node in the wireless sensor network. In this paper, an improved
AODV routing protocol based on minimal route cost is
presented, and OPNET is used to simulate the throughput,
end-to-end delay and other parameters for evaluating the
performance of the wireless sensor network with the improved
protocol, the simulated results show the validation of the
presented improved AODV.


HE network has became increasingly huge and

complicated in information technology times. Various
types of networks are merging constantly and new
network technology are coming in thick and fast. In
1999, the concept of "Internet of things" has first begun.
At first, it is defined as a type of technology implementing
the connection between the existing Internet and the sensor
network constructed by various types of sensors. In 2005,
"ITU Internet Reports 2005 presents that The Internet of
Things the ubiquitous "Internet of things" will come soon
around[1]. "Internet of things" has been explained by the
comment within the government work report released by

Manuscript received April 4, 2012. This work was supported in part by grant
from National Natural Science Foundation of China(Project No. 51108060
90815022, 51161120359 ,50921001), the Fundamental Research Funds for
the central Universities(Project NO.DUT12JR13), National Key Technology
Reseach and Development Program during the Twelfth Five-Year Plan
Period(Project No.2011BAK02B01) , National Hi-tech and Development
863 program of China (Project No. 2008AA092701,2011 Open Fund of the
State Key Laboratory of Coastal and Offshore Engineering of China (Project
No. LP1110).
Yan Yu is with School of Electronic Science and Technology, Dalian
University of Technology, 116024,China. (e-mail:
Yubao Yao is with School of Electronic Science and Technology, Dalian
University of Technology, Dalian city, 116024, China. (e-mail:
978-1-4577-2143-4/12/$26.00 2012 IEEE


the State Council during 2010 "two sessions" [2]. It is

constructed by sensor devices in accordance with the
agreed protocol. Through connecting a variety of
networks, exchanging information and communicating, it
capable of implementing intelligent identification,
positioning, tracking, monitoring and management of
network. Nowadays, international community has reached
a broad consensus. The Internet of Things is considered
to be the third generation revolution of technology after
the computer, Internet and mobile communication
network. It represents the trend of development on
information technology of next generation. Countries
around the world make it as key technology areas to
response to international financial crisis and revive the
Electronic labels used to identify objects and sensor
networks used to sensor objects are very important for
implementing "Internet of Things" . Further, wireless
sensor network technology overcomes the disadvantage of
traditional wired network's wiring complexity and
improves the flexibility. Therefore a lot of work has been
done on the area recently. Wireless sensor network is
constructed by a lot of micro and cheap sensor nodes
deployed in monitoring area[3]. The communication mode
is self-organizing, multi-hop, wireless. It is used to
cooperatively sense, collect and process the information
of object sensed in available area of the network and
provide feedback information to their users. Sensor node,
monitored object and users are three elements
constructing wireless sensor network. In the meanwhile,
the wireless sensor network(WSN) affiliated with a
MANET is a
high-speed mobile packet radio network established by
U.S. Department of Defense in 1970s, it has the character
of self-organization, no fixed center and dynamic
topology and has a lot of advantage on application.
MANET(Moblie Ad-hoc network) is a multi-hop and
temporary self-organization system construncted by a
group of sensor nodes equiped with wirless tranfer and
receive componet. Any time,
within the available
communication area, it forms a mesh topology through
wireless channle. Further, topology will change when the
relative position of node of the network changes.
However, when the topology changes so much that
beyond the effective communication area of nodes in the
network, other end nodes in the network are used to
foward packets for two nodes in the network which
couldn't access each other directly in the network.
Therefore, nodes in Ad-hoc network are both host and
router. It is a great challenge for researching WSN
because of these characters of Ad-hoc network. The

research about routing algorithm in WSN is particularly

important. Optimizing already-exist routing protocol
algorithm, improving the efficiency of nodes in the
network and ensuring communicate quality of nodes in
the network are very important. In this paper, we make a
change to the routing rule of the deault AODV routing
protocol from the least hop to the least overhead. And
we use network simulation tools OPNET to analyse the
performance of the network immplemented with the
improved protocol. The remaining of this paper is
organized as follows.
In section II, the detailed
description of WSN, research of the AODV routing
protocol and its principle are introduced. In section III,
simulation tools, experimental program and configuration
of simulation parameter are described in detail. The last
part of this paper includes summary of the work and

coverable areas.
As we all know, the sensor node has limited resource
on both hardware's and software's term. Recent years we
all have witnessed that the size of the sensor node
becomes more and more smaller, and people have created
the micro-level nodes called "motes" in the real meaning
already. However, on the term of size, there are a lot of
types of sensors, People are more willing to use one-time
and unsupervised sensor node on most of applications.
Because of stringent resource constrains on terms of
available computing power, memory, network bandwidth
and available energy, we must make sure that the
protocol used in each layer on WSN has the least cost.
Wireless sensor network protocol standards have five
layers corresponding to TCP/IP protocol: application
layer, transport layer, network layer, data link layer and
physical layer[7]. The main purpose of network layer is
responsible for creating route and route selection. For
nodes with constaint resource, route selection is very
important for reasonable utilization of limited reaources.
Paper[8] proposes the low rate wireless personal area
network(LR-WPAN) which improves the default AODV
protocol and simulates the protocol using NS2 tools.
Paper[9] describes the performance of routing protocol
including AODV and TORA in MANET on throughput
and QoS. The valid throughput and route efficiency of
AODV applied on WSN which has different node count
and mobile mode has been compared in this paper.
Certainly, the cost of various types of sensors are
very different, from several hundred dollars to some
pennies, which depends on the user's requirement on
monitoring enviroment and the size of WSN. All in all,
there are a lot of constrains on sensor nodes like cost,
technology and some other aspects. Because of these
factors, the already exist sensor nodes has the common
character of limited power, short of memory and
computing resources.
for any network
communication system, the design of network lifespan is
very important. The lifespan of any network depends on
the power cost of nodes in the network, which has a
close relationship with the operation in the network. All
these operations are reflacted better in AODV protocol.
So it is very important for us to improve the routing
protocol applied on WSN in order to accquire best
performance in wireless sensor network. In the following,
we will introduce the basic principle and research
situation of AODV routing protocol[10].


As the need of Internet, email and file transfer
increases continuously, the need of wireless network also
has the same trend and the need of wirless network is
also true. As the military battlefield monitoring requires,
the WSN emerges. Nowadays, WSN is widely applied in
industry control and monitoring, machine health care,
enviroment and habitat
monitoring, health care
application, traffic control and home automation[4].
Wireless sensor network is constructed by a lot of
static or mobile sensor nodes which construct the wireless
network through the mechanism of self-organization and
multi-hop in the monitoring object. And, WSN has been
widely used in industry control, agriculture enviroment
monitoring, health care and some other applications. The
Abbreviation of wireless sensor network is WSN. Nodes
in the WSN collect the information of monitored object
in realtime by sensor board on the node, process and
send the information collected by senor board through the
wireless module on the board and give the feedback to
the destination through some kind of routing mechanism
at last.
A lot of research has been done on WSN application
recently[5]. It depends on a lot of factors whether a WSN
works properly or not. For example, sensing ranges,
deployment mode, computational capability, memory,
battery power and tansmission capacity. And the power
cost of nodes in a network is key to make network work
properly. To change battery for each node in the network
is impossible for most of applications. When power done,
sensor nodes are useless and the topology of this network
is also changed. Most of WSN applications has the
character of longer network lifespan, rapid topology and
self-organization. How to extend the lifespan of the
network and make nodes in the netwrok cost-effective is
a problem that should be solved quickly. The paper[6]
proposes a new method to deploy sensor nodes called
QRD: Quasi Random Deployment. The main purpose of
this new deployment method is to improve the efficiency
of the network, extend lifespan of the network and its


A. Research of AODV
AODV routing protocol is the representative of
on-demand routing ptotocol in MANET and it has
become hot spot in recent years. Most of research on
AODV are based on default AODV routing protocl. In
order to improve the performance of the network which
has implemented the improved protocol on it, we use
simulation tools to simulate the network and compare the
analysis reasult. Through these results, we can see

whether the performace of the network improves or not.

There are a lot of examples about improved AODV.
Through piggy-back mechanism and weighed neighbor
stability algorithm, PMAODV reduces the route cost and
network delay effectively[11]. AOMDV extends the single
hop in traditional AODV routing protocol to multihop and
compares the performance between AOMDV
AODV[12]. Traditional AODV applications assume that
there is no malicious nodes in your network. SAODV
improves the security performace of default AODV and
avoids the congestion of control message and the attack
of malicious nodes effectively[13]. Examples like these are
too numerous to enumerate, the ME-AODV based on
AOMDV and MBCR(minimal battery cost routing), the
PAW-AODV[14] based on mimimal cost and other
different routing protocols based on traditional AODV
applied on different circumstaces.
We use different
simulation tools to study the performance of different
types of routing protocol applied on different occasions.
And we change the default AODV routing protocol
according to the performace we accquired for better apt to
the network.

maintain the route between itself and others by route

table, and it needn't to maintain the whole route table.
3) Route Error
When source node receives RREP, it starts to send
data to destination node. If intermediate node finds the
next hop of a route which is transmiting data break, and
there is no other effective routes to the destination, then the
intermediate node will unicast or multicast RERR
message to the destination. When originator receives
RERR, it recreates the route according to the unreachable
destination labeled in RERR. There is a list in RERR, it
includes all the unreachable destination because of
linkage break.
4) Limitation of AODV
In AODV routing protocol, the period HELLO
messages become redundant when a node sends the
control messages and data messages to the neighbour
node correctly. Those redundant messages will increase
routing cost and power cost, even make the whole
network paralysed. The default AODV has no special
security mesures. Consequently, it is easy to attack nodes
which adopt the routing protocol with false nodes, these
malcious nodes refuse to send information to destination
and cost a lot of ennergy malciously. AODV is based on
minimal hop count. And because of this character, a
small part of nodes in the network will be used again
and again and cause power lose very quickly in the
network. Consequently, the lifetime of this network will
go short. Our paper improves the default AODV routing
protocol by adding the minimal cost routing rule, and we
use OPNET to simulate the custom AODV routing
protocol and compares its performance with the default
AODV protocol.

B. Principle of AODV
The AODV is Ad-hoc On-demand Distance-vector
Routing. AODV is designed for mobile nodes in ad hoc
netwrok. It offers quick adaptation to dynamic link
conditions, low processing and memory overhead, low
network utilization, and determines unicast routs to
destinations within the ad hoc network. AODV routing
protocol is an improved version of DSDV and is a branch of
Bellmann-Ford distant vector algorithm. It uses
destination sequence numbers to ensure loop freedom at
all times avoiding the "counting to infinity" problems
associated with classical distanc vector protocols.
1) Route Discover
AODV routing protocol has three types of
information: RREQs, RREPs, RRERs. When there is no
route between source node and destination node, the source
broadcast a RREQ to the ad-hoc network to establish
routing discovery process. A route can be determined
when the RREQ reaches either the destination itself, or an
intermediate node with a 'fresh enough' route to the
destination whose associated sequence number is at least
as great as that contained in the RREQ. The route is
made available by unicasting a RREP back to the
origination of the RREQ. If the flag 'G' in RREQ has
been set and the corresponding intermediate node also
send a RREP to the source node, it must unicast a RREP
to the destination node freely too.
2) Maintain Route In AODV
Through local hello message, node can provide
connection information for other nodes in the network. If a
node belongs to a active route, it should use hello
HELLO_INTERVAL intervening time, node will check
whether it sends a broadcast message or not in the last
interval of time. If it doesn't send, it can broadcast a
HELLO message to maintan the route. Each node only


A. OPNET Simulation Tools
Network Simulation tools can be divided into two
types: code simulator and protocol simulator. The
representitive of code simulator is TOSSIM and the other
is OPNET or NS2. However, no simulation tools can
meet the requirement of WSN completely. So we use
OPNET to do secondary development work for AODV
routing protocol, and it is very important for improving
the perfomance of WSN. OPNET was founded in 1986
by the Information Decision Laboratory of MIT on the
requirements of U.S. Department of Defense and issued
its first business simulation software in 1987. OPNET
adopts three hierachical modeling mechanism including
network domain, node domain and process domain.
And there are there editors correspoding to there
domain described above. They are project editor, node
editor and process editor.
B. Realated Work
Use OPNET tools to simulate AODV routing protocol
and compare the performance of custom AODV protocol
with default AODV protocol. Build a simple network in

order to vertify effectiveness of this custom protocol.

View the results, the custom AODV should meet the
requirement: achieve the minimal cost in the network.
Then, compare the performance of the protocol on simle
network and study the advantage and disavantage of this
protocol. Increase the nodes in the network to dozens that
is extend the scale of the network. Then, use the OPNET
tools again to simulate the custom AODV and view the
results. Extend the scale of the network.
For the present, we have added the minimal cost
parameter into the default AODV and use OPNET to
simulate the protocol. We also build a simple network
with custom AODV protocol and view the number of
total traffic packets dropped and network delay of WLAN
layer. In this paper, we set two scenarios, the first
scenario has 10 nodes and the second scenario has 50
nodes in the network. Both of the diameter of the
network are 10*10 which is the representative of
office network. The simulation tool is OPNET and the
simulation time 1 hour.

Figure .2(a). WLAN Delay

Figure.2(b). Total Packets Dropped

The WLAN delay of the network with 10 nodes is

shown in Figure.2(a). The number of total packets
dropped of the network with 10 nodes is shown in

Figure.1(a). WLAN Delay

From the above results, we can see that the
performance of the scenario with custom AODV protocol
yields better. The solid line represents the simulation
results with default AODV protocol and the dot line
represents the simulation results with custom protocol. It
can be also concluded that the total number of packets
dropped of 10 nodes network with custom AODV
protocol dosen't adapt to network which the number of
nodes are less than 50. Admittedly, what we have
observed in this study is far from complete and it
requires further research.
A lot of work has been done on how to choose the
routing protocol of WSN for reduce cost in network and
extend lifetime of the network. We focus on how to
improve the performance of AODV routing protocol on
network futther. Then, we will extend the scale of the
network and simulate on QoS and some other parameters
which can reflect the performance of the network. In
brief, there is a lot of burning questions needed to be
solved. WSN has extensive application prospect and has

Figure.1(b). Total Packets Dropped

The WLAN delay of the network with 50 nodes is

shown in Figure.1.(a). The number of total packets
dropped of the network with 50 nodes is shown in


a profound effect on industries. More and More people

has devoted to the stydy of WSN.





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