Muhammad Ullah; Waqar Ahmad MCS-2009:14, pp. 52. COM/School of Computing, 2009.
The evolution of wireless communication and circuit technology has enabled the development of an infrastructure consists of sensing, computation and communication units that makes administrator capable to observe and react to a phenomena in a particular environment. The building block of such an infrastructure is comprised of hundreds or thousands of small, low cost, multifunctional devices which have the ability to sense compute and communicate using short range transceivers known as sensor nodes. The interconnection of these nodes forming a network called wireless sensor network (WSN).
The low cost, ease of deployment, ad hoc and multifunctional nature has exposed WSNs an attractive choice for numerous applications. The application domain of WSNs varies from environmental monitoring, to health care applications, to military operation, to transportation, to security applications, to weather forecasting, to real time tracking, to fire detection and so on. By considering its application areas WSN can be argue as a traditional wired or wireless network. But in reality, these networks are comprised of battery operated tiny nodes with limitations in their computation capabilities, memory, bandwidth, and hardware resulting in resource constrained WSN.
The resource constrained nature of WSN impels various challenges in its design and operations degrading its performance. On the other hand, varying numbers of applications having different constraints in their nature makes it further challenging for such resources constrained networks to attain application expectations. These challenges can be seen at different layer of WSNs starting from physical layer up to application layer. At routing layer, routing protocols are mainly concerned with WSN operation. The presence of these challenges affects the performance of routing protocols resulting in overall WSN performance degradation.
The aim of this study is to identify the performance challenges of WSN and analyze their impact on the performance of routing protocols. For this purpose a thorough literature study is performed to identify the issues affecting the routing protocols performance. Then to validate the impact of identified challenges from literature, an empirical study has been conducted by simulating different routing protocols, taking into consideration these challenges and results are shown. On the basis of achieved results from empirical study and literature review recommendations are made for better selection of protocol regarding to application nature in the presence of considered challenges.