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On the Need for Efficient Load Balancing in Large-scale RPL Networks with Multi-Sink Topologies


Maram Abdullah, Ibrahim Alsukayti, Mohammed Alreshoodi


Vol. 21  No. 4  pp. 241-248


Low-power and Lossy Networks (LLNs) have become the common network infrastructure for a wide scope of Internet of Things (IoT) applications. For efficient routing in LLNs, IETF provides a standard solution, namely the IPv6 Routing Protocol for LLNs (RPL). It enables effective interconnectivity with IP networks and flexibly can meet the different application requirements of IoT deployments. However, it still suffers from different open issues, particularly in large-scale setups. These include the node unreachability problem which leads to increasing routing losses at RPL sink nodes. It is a result of the event of memory overflow at LLNs devices due to their limited hardware capabilities. Although this can be alleviated by the establishment of multi-sink topologies, RPL still lacks the support for effective load balancing among multiple sinks. In this paper, we address the need for an efficient multi-sink load balancing solution to enhance the performance of PRL in large-scale scenarios and alleviate the node unreachability problem. We propose a new RPL objective function, Multi-Sink Load Balancing Objective Function (MSLBOF), and introduce the Memory Utilization metrics. MSLBOF enables each RPL node to perform optimal sink selection in a way that insure better memory utilization and effective load balancing. Evaluation results demonstrate the efficiency of MSLBOF in decreasing packet loss and enhancing network stability, compared to MRHOF in standard RPL.


Low-power lossy network (LLN), Wireless Sensor Network (WSN), RPL, Load Balancing, Multi-Sink