ISSN : 1796-2056
Volume : 3    Issue : 3    Date : March 2008

Multicast and IP Multicast Support in Wireless Sensor Networks
Jorge Sá Silva, Tiago Camilo, Pedro Pinto, Ricardo Ruivo, André Rodrigues, Filipa Gaudêncio, and
Fernando Boavida
Page(s): 19-26
Full Text:
PDF (381 KB)

Multicast potentially optimises bandwidth consumption and node resources, when several users
simultaneously participate in a communication session. Nevertheless, contrary to the expectations,
IP multicast has not experienced widespread deployment, with the exception of IPTV. On the other
hand, emerging Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) applications could greatly benefit from multicast
and constitute another field where multicast can be an effective and efficient technique. The
questions are: do multicast advantages hold in WSN scenarios? Can we use IP Multicast
functionality in WSNs? This paper discusses and evaluates the use of multicast in WSNs.
Specifically, we evaluate the use of Source-Specific Multicast, as it is one of the most promising
paradigms for IP networking, considering both IPv4 and IPv6 in WSNs. A sensor platform with IP
and multicast support that is being developed in our lab is presented. Concurrently, simulation
studies were performed in order to assess the usefulness of multicast in WSNs. The results clearly
point to the benefits of the use of this technique in processing and energy-restricted environments
such as this one.

Index Terms
multicast, wireless sensor networks, IP in WSNs