Reliable Data Transmission Based on Erasure-resilient Code in Wireless Sensor Networks

  • Lei, Jian-Jun (Department of Computer and Information Engineering Inha University) ;
  • Kwon, Gu-In (Department of Computer and Information Engineering Inha University)
  • Published : 2010.02.27


Emerging applications with high data rates will need to transport bulk data reliably in wireless sensor networks. ARQ (Automatic Repeat request) or Forward Error Correction (FEC) code schemes can be used to provide reliable transmission in a sensor network. However, the naive ARQ approach drops the whole frame, even though there is a bit error in the frame and the FEC at the bit level scheme may require a highly complex method to adjust the amount of FEC redundancy. We propose a bulk data transmission scheme based on erasure-resilient code in this paper to overcome these inefficiencies. The sender fragments bulk data into many small blocks, encodes the blocks with LT codes and packages several such blocks into a frame. The receiver only drops the corrupted blocks (compared to the entire frame) and the original data can be reconstructed if sufficient error-free blocks are received. An incidental benefit is that the frame error rate (FER) becomes irrelevant to frame size (error recovery). A frame can therefore be sufficiently large to provide high utilization of the wireless channel bandwidth without sacrificing the effectiveness of error recovery. The scheme has been implemented as a new data link layer in TinyOS, and evaluated through experiments in a testbed of Zigbex motes. Results show single hop transmission throughput can be improved by at least 20% under typical wireless channel conditions. It also reduces the transmission time of a reasonable range of size files by more than 30%, compared to a frame ARQ scheme. The total number of bytes sent by all nodes in the multi-hop communication is reduced by more than 60% compared to the frame ARQ scheme.


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