Background and Objectives: Reliable data transmission and congestion control are considered as the transport layer primary functions in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). WSNs are a specific category of wireless ad-hoc networks where their performance is highly affected by their characteristics and limitations. These limitations necessitate an effective data transport control in WSNs which considers quality of service (QoS), energy efficiency, and congestion control.
Methods: Congestion affects normal data transmission and ends in packet loss. Furthermore, wireless channels introduce packet loss because of high bit-error rate which wastes energy and affects reliability. The major problems regarding transport protocols in WSNs are congestion and reliability where the latter is classified and reviewed in the current paper.
Results: In this paper, reliable data transport protocols are classified as the traffic direction, the parameter the reliability focuses on, and loss detection, notification, and recovery. Traffic direction-based reliable data transport protocols can be upstream, downstream or bidirectional, however, the parameter-based ones can be packet-based, event-based or destination-based, the loss detection and notification-based ones can be ACK-based, NACK-based, ACK and NACK-based or SACK-based, and the loss recovery-based reliable data transport protocols can be E-2-E or H-by-H. Thereafter, a comprehensive review of different reliable data transport protocols in wireless sensor networks is presented. Also, different performance metrics are used to compare these schemes.
Conclusion: In this paper, reliable data transport protocols in WSNs are classified, reviewed and compared using different performance metrics. Finally, the current work attempts to provide specific directives to design and develop novel reliable data transport protocols in wireless sensor networks.
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