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

A Comprehensive Experimental Comparison of Event Driven and Multi-Threaded Sensor Node
Operating Systems
Cormac Duffy, Utz Roedig, John Herbert, and Cormac Sreenan
Page(s): 57-70
Full Text:
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The capabilities of a sensor network are strongly influenced by the operating system used on the
sensor nodes. In general, two different sensor network operating system types are currently
considered: event driven and multi-threaded. It is commonly assumed that event driven operating
systems are more suited to sensor networks as they use less memory and processing resources.
However, if factors other than resource usage are considered important, a multi-threaded system
might be preferred. This paper compares the resource needs of multi-threaded and event driven
sensor network operating systems. The resources considered are memory usage and power
consumption. Additionally, the event handling capabilities of event driven and multi-threaded
operating systems are analyzed and compared. The results presented in this paper show that for a
number of application areas a thread-based sensor network operating system is feasible and

Index Terms
Sensor Networks, Sensor Network Operating Systems, Performance Evaluation, TinyOS, MANTIS.