QoS in Wireless Multimedia Sensor Networks: A Layered and Cross-Layered Approach

Research paper by Zara Hamid, Faisal Bashir Hussain

Indexed on: 31 Aug '13Published on: 31 Aug '13Published in: Wireless Personal Communications


The emergence of wireless multimedia sensor networks (WMSN) has given birth to several civilian as well as defense applications. Some of the interesting applications employing low cost sensor nodes to manipulate rich multimedia content include traffic monitoring, border surveillance, smart homes, environment and habitat monitoring. Unlike the traditional sensor networks which are aimed at maximizing network lifetime by decreasing energy utilization, the main objective of WMSNs is optimized delivery of multimedia content along with energy efficiency. Multimedia communications in WMSNs, has stringent delay and high bandwidth requirement as compared to scalar data transfer in WSNs. Fulfilling these constraints in resource and energy constrained WMSNs is a huge challenge. In WMSNs, each layer of the protocol stack is responsible and fully involved in providing QoS guarantees. There is a need for new schemes at each layer of the protocol stack- from advanced coding techniques that reduce encoder complexity and achieve maximum compression to dynamic routing and MAC protocols that provide service differentiation and reduce end-to-end latency. In wireless sensor networks, where all layers have dependency on each other, QoS guarantees are possible through the cross layer interaction of different layers. This paper gives an overview of the different existing layered schemes in WMSNs, followed by a discussion on the significance and efficiency gains that can be achieved from cross layer interactions in WMSNs along with the review of the existing cross layer approaches. Finally, we identify the open research issues which have not been adequately addressed so far.