John Heidemann

RBP: Robust Broadcast Propagation in Wireless Networks

TitleRBP: Robust Broadcast Propagation in Wireless Networks
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsF. Stann, J. Heidemann, R. Shroff, and M. Z. Murtaza
Conference Nameproc # "Fourth" # acm-sensys
Date Publishednov
Conference LocationBoulder, Colorado, USA

Varying interference levels make broadcasting an unreliable operation in low-power wireless networks. Many routing and resource discovery protocols depend on flooding (repeated per-node broadcasts) over the network. Unreliability at the broadcast-level can result in either incomplete flooding coverage or excessive re-flooding, making path maintenance either unreliable or expensive. We present RBP, a very simple protocol that bolsters the reliability of broadcasting in such networks. Our protocol requires only local information, and resides as a service between the MAC and network layer, taking information from both. We show that RBP improves reliability while balancing energy efficiency. RBP is based on two principles: First, we exploit network density to achieve near-perfect flooding reliability by requiring moderate (50–70%) broadcast reliability when nodes have many neighbors. Second, we identify areas of sparse connectivity where important links bridge dense clusters of nodes, and strive for guaranteed reliability over those links. We demonstrate, through both testbed experiments and controlled simulations, that this hybrid approach is advantageous to providing near-perfect reliability for flooding with good efficiency. Testbed experiments show 99.8% reliability with 48% less overhead than the level of flooding required to get equivalent reliability, suggesting that routing protocols will benefit from RBP.