Branch Aggregation Multicast (BAM): An Energy Efficient and Highly Compatible Multicast Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks

Akihito OKURA  Takeshi IHARA  Akira MIURA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E89-D   No.5   pp.1633-1643
Publication Date: 2006/05/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1093/ietisy/e89-d.5.1633
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Challenges in Ad-hoc and Multi-hop Wireless Communications)
sensor multicast,  stateless multicast,  path aggregation,  energy efficiency,  low power operation,  

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In this paper, we propose a multicast protocol, called BAM (Branch Aggregation Multicast), for wireless sensor networks. The main contribution of BAM is a reduction in the radio communication load, which is a key determinant of sensor energy consumption. BAM does not use any control packets such as join/leave messages and does not manage multicast groups. BAM is highly compatible with existing wireless sensor protocols, such as routing protocols, MAC protocols, and other kinds of energy efficient protocols. BAM implementation is quite simple and BAM works on various networks even if some sensors are not BAM-capable. BAM is composed of two aggregation techniques. One is single hop aggregation (S-BAM) and the other is multiple paths aggregation (M-BAM). S-BAM aggregates radio transmission within a single hop and enables single transmission to multiple intended receivers. M-BAM aggregates multiple paths into fewer ones and limits the range of radio transmission. S-BAM is designed to reduce redundant communication at every branch while M-BAM is designed to reduce the number of branches. SM-BAM, the combination of S-BAM and M-BAM, can reduce the radio communication load thus enabling energy efficient multicast communication. We evaluate BAM in three ways, qualitative evaluation by theoretical analysis, quantitative evaluation through computer simulations, and experiments using CrossBow's MICA2. Our results show that BAM is a very energy efficient multicast protocol that well supports wireless sensor networks.