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A Heuristic Routing Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks in Home Automation Wireless sensor networks find a great deal

of use in home automation systems due to their following characteristics: 1. Easy deployment and reduced installation cost. 2. Good scalability 3. Easy integration with mobile user devices Authors have also discussed the various requirements that should be taken into consideration before designing a routing protocol for WSNHA and some of them are: high energy efficiency, low storage and algorithmic simplicity, high dependency on sensor-node distribution, self adaptation to network changes, relaxed requirements for scalability and coping with mobility. Some of the popular WSN routing protocols have been evaluated and their suitability to WSNHA has been discussed. A comparative analysis of these protocols is as shown below: Type of Routing Flat Routing Based Characteristics Each node typically plays the same role and sensor nodes collaborate to perform the sensing task. Uses flooding as the main routing protocol. Two layer routing wherein one layer is used to select the cluster heads and the other layer is used for routing. Highenergy nodes are used to process and send information, whereas low energy nodes are used to perform sensing. Positions of sensor nodes are exploited to route the data in the network. Advantages Low Storage requirement and based on a simple algorithm. Provides good scalability and suited to large networks. Provides energy efficient routing in a WSN. Additionally, it contributes to overall system stability and lifetime extension. Increased energy efficiency due to reduction in flooding and less contention within the network. Disadvantages Flooding creates unnecessary delay and energy consumption, the two main performance metrics in a Wireless sensor network. Clustering is based on a distributed algorithm which adds up to the complexity of a wireless sensor network and hence not suitable for such cases. Performance of locationbased routing depends on the sensor node distribution. Also the method of finding the location information depends on the application.

Cluster Routing


Location Routing


Based on the above comparison, it was concluded that of all the three protocols, location based routing is most suitable to WSN in home automation. Once we have the location information of all the nodes, we need to identify how to use this information to find an optimum route. To answer this question, authors have proposed a greedy-algorithm heuristic routing (GAHR) protocol and an A* algorithm for route finding. Greedy algorithm approach is based on utilizing the information at hand towards finding the optimum next-hop path with the hope of finding the global optimum. Each node would like to forward the packet to the neighbor closest to the destination and hence called greedy in nature. This algorithm fails for cases, when all the one-hop neighbors of a node have got a larger distance to the destination than the node itself (node looking to forward the packet to its neighboring node) and this would put the concerned node in an infinite loop/deadlock. In order to overcome this situation, authors have proposed a heuristic algorithm called A* to choose the correct route in such a scenario.

A* algorithm makes use of a distance-plus-cost heuristic function, in order to determine the optimum route to the destination. This heuristic function is a sum of two functions, the path cost function, d(x) and an admissible heuristic estimate to the distance to the goal, c(x). In simple terms, the A* algorithm can be explained below:

1. At first, the node S will check the heuristic values of all its neighboring nodes (n1,n2, n3) and the node with the smallest heuristic value will be selected as the next-hop node (n2). Once this step is done, the node n1 will broadcast its heuristic value h(n1) to all the neighboring nodes in the network. Here, h(S)= d(S-n2) + d(n2-dest), where d is the distance between two nodes 2. Now, the packet is at node n2 and node n2 will check the heuristic value of all its neighbors (S, n3). The node with the smallest heuristic value will be selected for the next hop. And node n2 will again broadcast its updated heuristic function h(n2) to all its neighbors in the node. And it will continue on for further hops until the destination is reached. 3. Going forward, if we have a scenario wherein, the updated value of heuristic function h(n2) is greater than h(n3), in such a case if a packet arrives at source S, n2 will not be selected, instead n3 will be selected as the next hop node of S. Thus we see that based on this algorithm, the heuristic value of each node keeps on updating and incase of any node getting disconnected with the network or some sort of obstacle appearing up into the network, the heuristic values of nodes are updated accordingly, providing an alternate route as opposed to the earlier selected one. Strengths: 1. The proposed routing algorithm takes care of various unpredictable situations that may arise in a WSNHA. And the suggested route finding protocol is capable of overcoming all such situations. 2. Since, the routing algorithms are based on location-based routing, it takes care of the primary requirement of efficient power management in a wireless sensor network in home automation systems. 3. Weaknesses: 1. Since the proposed protocol is based on a learning algorithm and hence at times, there may be delay in finding the alternate route due to some blockage to the network. 2. Larger memory requirements incase of bigger networks.

3. There might be situations incase of a three-dimensional wireless sensor network, when more than one node (to the source node) have got the same heuristic value. The source node will get into confusion which node to select as the next hop node. Improvements: