Gossip-based self-management of a recursive area hierarchy for large wireless sensornets

Konrad Iwanicki*, Maarten van Steen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A recursive multihop area hierarchy has a number of applications in wireless sensor networks, the most common being scalable point-to-point routing, so-called hierarchical routing. In this paper, we consider the problem of maintaining a recursive multihop area hierarchy in large sensor networks. We present a gossip-based protocol, dubbed PL-Gossip, in which nodes, by using local-only operations and by periodically gossiping with their neighbors, collaboratively maintain such a hierarchy. Since the hierarchy is a complex distributed structure, PL-Gossip introduces special mechanisms for internode coordination and consistency enforcement. Yet, these mechanisms are seamlessly integrated within the basic gossiping framework. Through simulations and experiments with an actual embedded protocol implementation, we demonstrate that PL-Gossip maintains the hierarchy in a manner that addresses all the peculiarities of sensor networks. More specifically, it offers excellent opportunities for aggressive energy saving and facilitates provisioning energy harvesting infrastructure. In addition, it bootstraps and recovers the hierarchy after failures relatively fast while also being robust to message loss. Finally, it can seamlessly operate on real sensor node hardware in realistic deployment scenarios and can outperform existing state-of-the-art hierarchy maintenance protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5066965
Pages (from-to)562-576
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE transactions on parallel and distributed systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Area hierarchy
  • Gossip-based algorithms
  • Gossiping
  • Hierarchical routing
  • Self-organization
  • Wireless sensor networks


Dive into the research topics of 'Gossip-based self-management of a recursive area hierarchy for large wireless sensornets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this