Information-Sharing Protocol Architectures for Sensor Networks: The State of the Art and a New Solution
Protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are very diverse. Reflecting this diversity, no single protocol architecture for WSNs dominates: Programmers often modify the legacy-architecture to fit their set of protocols in the stack. However, there exists desirable goals for a sensor network architecture: Modularity, flexibility and universality. At the same time, a WSN architecture should enable the protocols to achieve long network lifetimes for various applications. These are, in general, conflicting goals, with the former achieved using layered architectures and the latter obtained through cross-layer interactions. A good balance can be provided by architectures that enable layers to share common information, as these architectures allow for cross-layer protocol improvements, while preventing some of the short-comings of cross-layer designs.