Sensor Network Architecture

Sensor Network Architecture is used in Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). It can be used in various places like schools, hospitals, buildings, roads, etc for various applications like disaster management, security management, crisis management, etc.

There are 2 types of architecture used in WSN: Layered Network Architecture, and Clustered Architecture. These are explained as following below.

1. Layered Network Architecture:
Layered Network Architecture makes use of a few hundred sensor nodes and a single powerful base station. Network nodes are organized into concentric Layers.
It consists of 5 layers and three cross layers.
The 5 layers are:

    1. Application Layer
    2. Transport Layer
    3. Network Layer
    4. Data Link Layer
    5. Physical Layer 

    The cross layers consist of the following:

    • Power Management Plane
    • Mobility Management Plane
    • Task Management Plane

    The advantage of using Layered Network Architecture is that each node participates only in short-distance, low power transmissions to nodes of the neighbouing nodes because of which power consumption is less as compared to other Sensor Network Architecture. It is scalable and has a higher fault tolerance.

    2. Clustered Network Architecture:
    In Clustered Network Architecture, Sensor Nodes autonomously clubs into groups called clusters. It is based on the Leach Protocol which makes use of clusters. Leach Protocol stands for Low Energy Adaptive Clustering Hierarchy.

    Properties of Leach Protocol:

    • It is a 2-tier hierarchy clustering architecture.
    • It is a distributed algorithm for organizing the sensor nodes into groups called clusters.
    • The cluster head nodes in each of the autonomously formed clusters create the Time-division multiple access (TDMA) schedules.
    • It makes use of the concept called Data Fusion which makes it energy efficient.


    Clustered Network Architecture is a very useful sensor network because of the property of Data Fusion. Inside each cluster, each node communicate with the cluster head to gather the information. All the clusters which are formed share their gathered information to the base station. The cluster formation and selection of cluster head inside each cluster is an independent and autonomous distributed process.

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