A Proposal for a Notion of Timeliness in Wireless Sensor Networks

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Executive Summary

The intrinsic properties of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) such as their ad-hoc infrastructure, energy constraints, and limited availability of resources, constitute an unfavorable environment for end-to-end timeliness guarantees. Many existing solutions are based on a timeliness notion borrowed from real-time systems, which can only express strict end-to-end deadlines for individual messages. However, it is practically unfeasible to impose these timeliness requirements in WSN without overestimating the network capacity. This paper presents a generalized notion of timeliness suitable for the unpredictable environments of WSN. This notion allows to express a target time interval and the level of confidence of a sequence of messages arriving within the interval.

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