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With the increased use of large-scale real-time embedded sensor networks, new control mechanisms are needed to avoid congestion and meet required Quality of Service (QoS) levels. In this paper, the authors propose a Markov Decision Problem (MDP) to prescribe an optimal query assignment strategy that achieves a trade-off between two QoS requirements: query response time and data validity. Query response time is the time that queries spend in the sensor network until they are solved. Data validity (freshness) indicates the time elapsed between data acquisition and query response and whether that time period exceeds a predefined tolerance. They assess the performance of the proposed model by means of a discrete event simulation.
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