BMFA: Bi-Directional Multicast Forwarding Algorithm for RPL-based 6LoWPANs

  • Georgios Z. PapadopoulosEmail author
  • Andreas Georgallides
  • Theo Tryfonas
  • George Oikonomou
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 190)


In scenarios involving point-to-multipoint network traffic, transmitting to each destination individually with unicast may lead to poor utilisation of network bandwidth, excessive energy consumption caused by the high number of packets and suffers from low scalability as the number of destinations increases. An alternative approach, would be to use network-layer multicast, where packets are transmitted to multiple destinations simultaneously. In doing so, applications adopting a one-to-many communication paradigm may improve their energy efficiency and bandwidth utilisation. In this paper, we present Bi-directional Multicast Forwarding Algorithm (BMFA), a novel RPL-based multicast forwarding mechanism. BMFA improves its pre-predecessor SMRF in that it allows multicast traffic to travel both upwards as well as downwards in an RPL tree. At the same time, it retains SMRF’s low latency and very low energy consumption characteristics. Our performance evaluation results, conducted using the Contiki operating system, show that BMFA outperforms its rival Trickle Multicast/Multicast Protocol for Low power and Lossy Networks (TM/MPL), in terms of reducing both delay and energy consumption.


Internet of things 6LoWPAN Wireless sensor networks IPv6 Multicast Trickle 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no.609094.


  1. 1.
    Carzaniga, A., Khazaei, K., Kuhn, F.: Oblivious low-congestion multicast routing in wireless networks. In: Proceedings of the 13th ACM International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing (MobiHoc), pp. 155–164(2012)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Feng, C.H., Zhang, I.D.Y., Heinzelman, W.B.: Stateless multicast protocol for Ad Hoc networks. IEEE Trans. Mob. Comput. 11(2), 240–253 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hui, J., Kelsey, R.: Multicast Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks (MPL), RFC 7731, February 2016Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Winter, T., Thubert, P., Brandt, A., Hui, J., Kelsey, R., Levis, P., Pister, K., Struik, R., Vasseur, J.A.R.: RPL: IPv6 Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks, RFC 6550 (2012)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Levis, P., Clausen, T., Hui, J., Gnawali, O., Ko, J.: The Trickle Algorithm, RFC 6206, March 2011Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Oikonomou, G., Philips, I.: Stateless multicast forwarding with RPL in 6LoWPAN sensor networks. In: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PERCOM Workshops), pp. 272–277 (2012)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Oikonomou, G., Philips, I., Tryfonas, T.: IPv6 multicast forwarding in RPL-based wireless sensor networks. Wirel. Pers. Commun. 73(3), 1089–1116 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Österlind, F., Dunkels, A., Eriksson, J., Finne, N., Voigt, T.: Cross-level sensor network simulation with COOJA. In: Proceedings of the 31st Annual IEEE International Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN) (2006)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dunkels, A., Osterlind, F., Tsiftes, N., He, Z.: Software-based On-line energy estimation for sensor nodes. In: Proceedings of the 4th ACN Workshop on Embedded Networked Sensors (EmNets), pp. 28–32 (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georgios Z. Papadopoulos
    • 2
    Email author
  • Andreas Georgallides
    • 1
  • Theo Tryfonas
    • 1
  • George Oikonomou
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.IRISA, Télécom BretagneInstitut Mines-TélécomRennesFrance

Personalised recommendations