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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 134165, 9 pages
Research Article

Cross-Layer Support for Energy Efficient Routing in Wireless Sensor Networks

1Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne 3086, Australia
2Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008, USA
3Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Heroon Polytechniou 9, Athens 15780, Greece

Received 29 September 2008; Revised 10 January 2009; Accepted 18 February 2009

Academic Editor: Tommaso Melodia

Copyright © 2009 N. Chilamkurti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Dynamic Source Routing (DSR) algorithm computes a new route when packet loss occurs. DSR does not have an in-built mechanism to determine whether the packet loss was the result of congestion or node failure causing DSR to compute a new route. This leads to inefficient energy utilization when DSR is used in wireless sensor networks. In this work, we exploit cross-layer optimization techniques that extend DSR to improve its routing energy efficiency by minimizing the frequency of recomputed routes. Our proposed approach enables DSR to initiate a route discovery only when link failure occurs. We conducted extensive simulations to evaluate the performance of our proposed cross-layer DSR routing protocol. The simulation results obtained with our extended DSR routing protocol show that the frequency with which new routes are recomputed is 50% lower compared with the traditional DSR protocol. This improvement is attributed to the fact that, with our proposed cross-layer DSR, we distinguish between congestion and link failure conditions, and new routes are recalculated only for the latter.