ISSN : 1796-2056
Volume : 2    Issue : 6    Date : December 2007

Reliable Actuation in Sensor Networks
Sean Rooney and Luis Garcés-Erice
Page(s): 1-12
Full Text:
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We present a protocol that uses a publish/subscribe approach to perform reliable but efficient
actuation over a sensor network whose topology may change. Actuation on a given group of devices
in the sensor network is achieved through a publish operation on the topic the devices in that group
are subscribed to. The publication message contains the necessary data to successfully perform
the actuation. We make the case for our design showing that: a) suitable data distribution
techniques and cross-layer optimizations can reduce transmissions within the messaging layer of
the sensor-network b) a soft-state approach can help with the frequent topology changes in
wireless sensor networks caused by the transmission medium. We describe our protocol and
compare its features and robustness to those of epidemic protocols through simulation. Our
protocol is more efficient when the actuation is performed on selected groups of devices within the
sensor network. In the general case, the efficiency of our proposal is similar to that of an epidemic
model, plus feedback is given to the initiator of the actuation. Robustness remains close to the
epidemic approach, even for moderate bit error rates.

Index Terms
Wireless, Sensor Network, Actuation