An analytical model for coding-based reprogramming protocols in lossy wireless sensor networks

Jun-Wei Li, Shi-Ning Li, Yu Zhang, Tao Gu, Yee Wei Law, Zhe Yang, Xingshe Zhou, Marimuthu Palaniswami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Multi-hop over-the-air reprogramming is essential for remote installation of software patches and upgrades in wireless sensor networks (WSNs). Several recent coding-based reprogramming protocols have been proposed to enable efficient code dissemination in high packet loss environments. An accurate and formal analysis of the performance of these protocols, however, has not been studied sufficiently in the literature. In this paper, we present a novel high-fidelity analytical model based on the shortest path algorithm to measure the completion time by incorporating overhearing and packet coding. This model can be applied to any coding-based reprogramming protocol by substituting the coding part with protocol specific operations. We conduct extensive testbed experiments to evaluate the performance of our proposed model. Based on the analytical and numerical experiments, we find that 1) overhearing causes significant reduction of the completion time in dense wireless sensor networks, particularly, it reduces 50-70 percent of the total completion time when the packet reception rate is 0.896; 2) coding delay plays a key role in the total completion time compared to the communication delay when the packet coding parameters are selected appropriately, for example, the communication delay is about 65 percent of the coding delay when the number of packets per page is 16 for the finite field size 28 ; 3) the total completion time can be minimized when the number of packets per page is close to 24 and the finite field size is close to 24.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-37
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Reprogramming
  • analytical model
  • code dissemination
  • lossy wireless sensor networks
  • network coding


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