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Emerging applications of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) require real-time Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees to be provided by the network. However, designing real-time scheduling and communication solutions for these networks is challenging since the characteristics of QoS metrics in WSNs are not well known yet. Due to the nature of wireless connectivity, it is infeasible to satisfy worst-case QoS requirements in WSNs. Instead, probabilistic QoS guarantees should be provided, which requires the definition of probabilistic QoS metrics. To provide an analytical tool for the development of real-time solutions, in this paper, the distribution of end-to-end delay in multi-hop WSNs is investigated. Accordingly, a comprehensive and accurate cross-layer analysis framework, which employs a stochastic queueing model in realistic channel environments, is developed.
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