›› 2014, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (3): 470-486.doi: 10.1007/s11390-014-1443-8

Special Issue: Surveys; Computer Networks and Distributed Computing

• Computer Networks and Distributed Computing • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A Survey on Data Dissemination in Wireless Sensor Networks

Xiao-Long Zheng1 (郑霄龙), Student Member, CCF, ACM, IEEE and Meng Wan2, * (万猛), Member, ACM, IEEE   

  1. 1 Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Kowloon Hong Kong, China;
    2 Center for Science and Technology Development, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100080, China
  • Received:2013-08-21 Revised:2014-01-27 Online:2014-05-05 Published:2014-05-05
  • About author:Xiao-Long Zheng received the B.E. degree in software engineering from Dalian University of Technology, China, in 2011. He is currently a Ph.D. student with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is a student member of the ACM, CCF, and IEEE.
  • Supported by:

    This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 61170220.

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have been applied in a variety of application areas. Most WSN systems, once deployed, are intended to operate unattended for a long period. During the lifetime, it is necessary to fix bugs, reconfigure system parameters, and upgrade the software in order to achieve reliable system performance. However, manually collecting all nodes back and reconfiguring through serial connections with computer is infeasible since it is labor-intensive and inconvenient due to the harsh deploying environments. Hence, data dissemination over multi-hop is desired to facilitate such tasks.
This survey discusses the challenges and requirements of data dissemination in WSNs, reviews existing works, introduces some relevant techniques, presents the metrics of the performance and comparisons of the state-of-the-art works, and finally suggests the possible future directions in data dissemination studies. This survey elaborates and compares existing approaches by two categories: structure-less schemes and structure-based schemes, classified by whether or not the network structure information is used during the disseminating process. In existing literatures, different categories have definite boundary and limited analysis on the tradeoff between different categories. Besides, there is no survey has discussed the emerging techniques such as Constructive Interference (CI). But these emerging techniques have the chance to change the framework of data dissemination. In a word, even though many efforts have been made, data dissemination in WSNs still needs some works to embrace the new techniques and improve the efficiency and practicability further.

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