Wireless Sensor Networks(WSNs) have matured to a point where they present a realistic technology for monitoring non critical systems in industrial, office and domestic environments. This in turn will lead to an increased number of applications using WSN technology, each requiring a unique response from the underlying network. Due to the nature of WSN communications these different network requirements are achieved using a variety of communication tools. With ever increasing number and complexity of tools available it becomes difficult to choose which tool is best suited for an application in a given deployment.
In this paper we introduce a procedure to model the WSN network based on its physical features with the aim to give insight into the best solution for a particular deployment. We determine how each physical feature effects the ability of a communication solution to provide a quality of service for an application. We build a model of the network based on these physical features. The model is then tested to determine if it can be effectively used to compare communication solutions. We examine the model, built on simulation data, using three network solutions each based on the RPL routing protocol. Each solution differs in choice of routing metric with ETX, ETX-NH and ETT used in the comparisons. Each solution is tested over a range of physical characteristics which describe a network.
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