Energy-Reliability Tradeoffs in Sensor Networks

Appeared in Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Embedded Networked Sensors (HotEmNets 2008).


Sensor nodes that store their data locally are increasingly being deployed in hostile and remote environments such as active volcanoes and battlefields. Observations gathered in these environments are often irreplaceable, and must be protected from loss due to node failures. Nodes may fail individually due to power depletion or hardware/software problems, or they may suffer correlated failures from localized destructive events such as fire or rockfall. While many file systems can guard against these events, they do not consider energy usage in their approach to redundancy. We examine tradeoffs between energy and reliability in three contexts: choice of redundancy technique, choice of redundancy nodes, and frequency of verifying correctness of remotely-stored data. By matching the choice of reliability techniques to the failure characteristics of sensor networks in hostile and inaccessible environments, we can build systems that use less energy while providing higher system reliability.

Publication date:
June 2008

Neerja Bhatnagar
Kevin Greenan
Rosie Wacha
Ethan L. Miller
Darrell D. E. Long

Reliable Storage

Available media

Full paper text: PDF

Bibtex entry

  author       = {Neerja Bhatnagar and Kevin Greenan and Rosie Wacha and Ethan L. Miller and Darrell D. E. Long},
  title        = {Energy-Reliability Tradeoffs in Sensor Networks},
  booktitle    = {Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Embedded Networked Sensors (HotEmNets 2008)},
  month        = jun,
  year         = {2008},
Last modified 27 Jan 2023