Assessment of the Causes and Effects of Packet Loss in Wireless Sensor Networks

Anthony Luvanda


A wireless sensor network (WSN) is a wireless network consisting of spatially distributed autonomous devices using sensors to monitor physical or environmental conditions. A WSN system incorporates a gateway that provides wireless connectivity back to the wired world and distributed nodes.[i] Like any other wireless network, loss of packets is a common occurrence in WSNs. This may be caused by a variety of events and occurrences on the network which may in the long run affect the performance of the network. This paper therefore studied the connection between the causes of packet loss in wireless sensor networks and their net effect on the outcome and performance of the said WSN in the monitoring of physical and environmental conditions.Primarily the paper relied on secondary data and review of past literature and research and in the process was able to observe that weak signals and malicious attacks such as the black hole attack, selective forwarding attack and radio interferences are the major causes of packet loss whose effects include reduced network life and throughput; higher consumption of energy; denial of service attacks; reduced network efficiency; packet degradation and inconsistent packets.

Keywords: Packet loss, Wireless sensor networks, malicious attacks, Received Signal strength

[i] Anna Hac, (2003)Wireless Sensor Network Designs,John Wiley and Sons

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5782 ISSN (Online)2225-0506
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