Background: Nowadays, wireless sensor networks are commonly used in healthcare applications. Congestion is one of the main challenges in these networks, which causes the network efficiency to be decreased considerably. Most of the existing congestion control methods are presented for wireless sensor networks and the least of them are discussed on wireless body sensor networks. Moreover, they usually use one of the basic controlling factors instead of considering a group of such factors.
Objective: Congestion is one of the main problems in wireless body sensor networks that can be carefully avoided and controlled by a group of basic controlling parameters.
Methods: The goal of this work is to propose an optimized prioritized congestion avoidance and control protocol in wireless body sensor networks. The proposed protocol uses a hop-to-hop delivery to transmit data packets from sensor nodes to a base station. Data packets are prioritized by source nodes based on node priority and data volatility. They are also prioritized by intermediate nodes through three prioritized queues. Each node selects one of its neighbors by a dynamic congestion aware routing strategy to transmit data packets to the base station. Increasing the data reliability and decreasing the network traffic on transmission paths are some of the main goals of the proposed protocol.
Results: Simulation results show that the proposed protocol surpasses one of the existing congestion protocols in terms of system throughput, network lifetime, number of lost packets, traffic load, and number of delivered packets.
Conclusion: The proposed protocol can avoid and control the congestion problem in wireless body sensor networks.