A Hybrid Physical Architecture for Wireless Sensor and Actor Networks
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Wireless sensor and actor networks typically consist of a large number of heterogeneous nodes connected by a wireless medium, wherein sensor nodes collect data from physical environment and consequently actor nodes perform required actions. Two types of configuration and architecture for these networks are well known: automated and semi-automated. In a semi-automated network, sensors only communicate with sink and actors get orders only from sink. Therefore, sink acts as the sole central authority and is critical to the network. Although decisions made by sink centrally leads to reliable actions, it is a single point of failure of the whole network. In automated networks, sensor nodes directly communicate with actor nodes and there is no central control over the network. Although the in-network distributed processing in this type of network leads to faster responses, the network suffers from lots of overly communicated redundant messages that may well lead to incorrect actions by actors. This paper presents a new hybrid architecture that enjoys both the high speed of automated architectures and the reliability of semi-automated architectures at the same time. It is shown that the overall performance of the network is by far higher under this new architecture.
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