Networking Issues in Sensor Networks

Deepak Ganesan, Alberto Cerpa, Yan Yu, Wei Ye, Jerry Zhao, Deborah Estrin


The emergence of sensor networks as one of the dominant technology trends in the coming decades has posed numerous unique challenges to researchers. These networks are likely to be composed of hundreds, and potentially thousands of tiny sensor nodes, functioning autonomously, and in many cases, without access to renewable energy resources. Cost constraints and the need for ubiquitous, invisible deployments will result in small sized, resource-constrained sensor nodes. While the set of challenges in sensor networks are diverse, we focus on fundamental networking challenges in this paper. The key networking challenges in sensor networks that we discuss are: (a) supporting multi-hop communication while limiting radio operation to conserve power, (b) data management, including frameworks that support attribute-based data naming, routing and in-network aggregation, (c) geographic routing challenges in networks where nodes know their locations, and (d) monitoring and maintenance of such dynamic, resource-limited systems. For each of these research areas, we provide an overview of proposed solutions to the problem and discuss in detail one or few representative solutions. Finally, we illustrate how these networking components can be integrated into a complex data storage solution for sensor networks.




Deepak Ganesan, Alberto Cerpa, Yan Yu, Wei Ye, Jerry Zhao, Deborah Estrin, "Networking Issues in Sensor Networks," Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing (JPDC), 64, (7), pp. 799--814, Elseiver, 2004.


  author =       "Deepak Ganesan and Alberto Cerpa and Yan Yu and Wei Ye
                 and Jerry Zhao and Deborah Estrin",
  title =        "Networking Issues in Sensor Networks",
  journal =      "Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing (JPDC)",
  year =         "2004",
  volume =       "64",
  number =       "7",
  pages =        "799--814",
  publisher =    "Elseiver",
  URL =          "",
  cited =        "183",


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