, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 171-190
Date: 13 Mar 2007

A Survey of Fault Management in Wireless Sensor Networks

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Wireless sensor networks are resource-constrained self-organizing systems that are often deployed in inaccessible and inhospitable environments in order to collect data about some outside world phenomenon. For most sensor network applications, point-to-point reliability is not the main objective; instead, reliable event-of-interest delivery to the server needs to be guaranteed (possibly with a certain probability). The nature of communication in sensor networks is unpredictable and failure-prone, even more so than in regular wireless ad hoc networks. Therefore, it is essential to provide fault tolerant techniques for distributed sensor applications. Many recent studies in this area take drastically different approaches to addressing the fault tolerance issue in routing, transport and/or application layers. In this paper, we summarize and compare existing fault tolerant techniques to support sensor applications. We also discuss several interesting open research directions.