Efficient wireless reprogramming through reduced bandwidth usage and opportunistic sleeping

Rajesh Krishna Panta, Saurabh Bagchi, Issa M. Khalil

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Wireless reprogramming of a sensor network is useful for uploading new code or for changing the functionality of existing code. Reprogramming may be done multiple times during a node's lifetime and therefore a node has to remain receptive to future code updates. Existing reprogramming protocols, including Deluge, achieve this by bundling the reprogramming protocol and the application as one code image which is transferred through the network. The reprogramming protocol being complex, the overall size of the program image that needs to be transferred over the wireless medium increases, thereby increasing the time and energy required for reprogramming a network. We present a protocol called Stream that significantly reduces this bloat by using the facility of having multiple code images on the node. It pre-installs the reprogramming protocol as one image and equips the application program with the ability to listen to new code updates and switch to this image. For a sample application, the increase in size of the application image is 1 page (48 packets of 36 bytes each) for Stream and 11 pages for Deluge. Additionally, we design an opportunistic sleeping scheme whereby nodes can sleep during the period when reprogramming has been initiated but has not yet reached the neighborhood of the node. The savings become significant for large networks and for frequent reprogramming. We implement Stream on Mica2 motes and conduct testbed and simulation experiments to compare delay and energy consumption for different network sizes with respect to the state-of-the-art Deluge protocol.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)42-62
    Number of pages21
    JournalAd Hoc Networks
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


    • Deluge
    • Network reprogramming
    • Sensor networks
    • TOSSIM
    • Three way handshake

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Hardware and Architecture
    • Computer Networks and Communications


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