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Enabling Industrial IoT Applications: Supporting Reliable and Real-Time Data Delivery
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Systems and Technology. (STC)
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has become a promising technology for the improvement of the productivity, efficiency, and intelligence of the manufacturing process. Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks (IWSNs) represent a main pillar of IIoT to support communications within the field network level. For several IIoT applications, IWSNs are defined by strict communication requirements in terms of latency and reliability to support the proper functioning of the industrial system and avoid production loss. However, there are many challenges in efficiently satisfying these requirements. The key challenges investigated in this thesis are related to the shortcomings of the existing IWSN standards to enable timely delivery of aperiodic critical data, support traffic differentiation, and maintain reliable end-to-end communications. The overall objective of this work is to improve the reliability and real-time communication at the field network level in IIoT applications, particularly in process automation scenarios. Specifically, the proposed solutions represent improvements within the data-link and network layers of the IWSN protocol stack. The work in this thesis introduces the following contributions. The first part of the thesis focuses on improving real-time delivery for critical traffic and enabling traffic differentiation for mixed-criticality systems. The contribution in this part comprises three approaches. The first approach introduces a deterministic priority-based channel access mechanism for emergency data in time- and mission-critical applications. The approach is based on a dynamic deadline-aware schedule to provide a delay-bounded performance for the unpredictable emergency traffic along with efficient channel utilization. In the second approach, a priority-based wireless fieldbus protocol is proposed to enable traffic differentiation in mixed-criticality systems, where each traffic flow is given a transmission priority according to its corresponding criticality level. The third approach presents an optimized retransmission scheme to maximize the probability that an emergency packet is successfully delivered within its deadline bound. The results of the proposed schemes prove their effectiveness in providing real-time delivery for critical traffic and efficient service differentiation for mixed-criticality systems. The second part of the thesis introduces a routing framework to improve the connectivity and the end-to-end communication reliability of 6TiSCH networks. The proposed solutions in this part are mainly designed on the basis of the standard Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks (RPL). The proposed framework comprises the following approaches: 1) a reliable mobility-aware routing scheme to support node connectivity and reliable routing in mobile 6TiSCH networks, 2) a congestion control and detection strategies to enhance packet delivery performance under imbalanced network and heavy load scenarios, 3) a hybrid multi-cast method to maintain downlink connectivity and mitigate routing memory limitations in large-scale 6TiSCH networks. The conducted performance evaluations prove the effectiveness of the proposed approaches to enhance network performance in terms of reliability and delay metrics. The proposed approaches manage to improve routing performance of 6TiSCH networks in terms of connectivity and end-to-end data delivery, which in turn improves the real-time communication in IIoT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2020. , p. 72
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 333
National Category
Communication Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-40027ISBN: 978-91-88947-73-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-40027DiVA, id: diva2:1473840
Public defence
2020-11-04, C312 via Zoom, Holmgatan 10, Sundsvall, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-10-09 Created: 2020-10-07 Last updated: 2021-11-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A Delay-Bounded MAC Protocol for Mission- and Time-Critical Applications in Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Delay-Bounded MAC Protocol for Mission- and Time-Critical Applications in Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks
2018 (English)In: IEEE Sensors Journal, ISSN 1530-437X, E-ISSN 1558-1748, Vol. 18, no 6, p. 2607-2616Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks (IWSNs) designedfor mission- and time-critical applications require timelyand deterministic data delivery within stringent deadline bounds.Exceeding delay limits for such applications can lead to system malfunction or ultimately dangerous situations that can threaten human safety. In this paper, we propose SS-MAC, an efficient slot stealing MAC protocol to guarantee predictable and timely channel access for time-critical data in IWSNs. In the proposed SS-MAC, aperiodic time-critical traffic opportunistically steals time slots assigned to periodic non-critical traffic. Additionally, a dynamic deadline-based scheduling is introduced to provide guaranteed channel access in emergency and event-based situations where multiple sensor nodes are triggered simultaneously to transmit time-critical data to the controller. The proposed protocol is evaluated mathematically to provide the worst-case delay bound for the time-critical traffic. Performance comparisons are carried out between the proposed SS-MAC and WirelessHARTstandard and they show that, for the time-critical traffic, theproposed SS-MAC can achieve, at least, a reduction of almost 30% in the worst-case delay with a significant channel utilization efficiency.

National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-32771 (URN)10.1109/JSEN.2018.2793946 (DOI)000425981100048 ()2-s2.0-85041646182 (Scopus ID)
Projects
SMART (Smarta system och tjänster för ett effektivt och innovativt samhälle)
Available from: 2018-01-30 Created: 2018-01-30 Last updated: 2021-11-29Bibliographically approved
2. Priority-Aware Wireless Fieldbus Protocol for Mixed-Criticality Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Priority-Aware Wireless Fieldbus Protocol for Mixed-Criticality Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks
2019 (English)In: IEEE Sensors Journal, ISSN 1530-437X, E-ISSN 1558-1748, Vol. 19, no 7, p. 2767-2780Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Industrial wireless sensor networks are becoming popular for critical monitoring and control applications in industrial automation systems. For such type of applications, providing reliable real-time performance regarding data delivery is considered as a fundamental challenge. The problem becomes more prominent with mixed-criticality systems, where different data flow with different levels of criticality (importance) coexist and characterized by different requirements regarding delay and reliability. In this paper, we propose a wireless fieldbus protocol to enable real-time communication and service differentiation for cluster-based mixed-criticality networks. A process monitoring scenario of plastic extrusion is used to define the protocol requirements and elaborate the working principle of the proposed work. In our proposed protocol, each data flow is scheduled for channel access based on its criticality level using a distributed prioritized medium access mechanism that ensures a guaranteed channel access for the most critical traffic over other traffic types. The performance of the proposed protocol is analyzed analytically using a discrete-time Markov chain model to evaluate the performance in terms of delay and throughput. Moreover, the extensive simulations are conducted to prove the analytical claims and different performance assessments are provided, which also demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach compared with the related existing work.

Keywords
Industrial wireless sensor networks, mixed-criticality systems, real-time, wireless fieldbus
National Category
Communication Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-35807 (URN)10.1109/JSEN.2018.2888729 (DOI)000460683600042 ()2-s2.0-85058876428 (Scopus ID)
Projects
SMART (Smarta system och tjänster för ett effektivt och innovativt samhälle)
Note

Available from: 2019-03-19 Created: 2019-03-19 Last updated: 2021-11-29Bibliographically approved
3. REA-6TiSCH: Reliable Emergency-Aware Communication Scheme for 6TiSCH Networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>REA-6TiSCH: Reliable Emergency-Aware Communication Scheme for 6TiSCH Networks
2021 (English)In: IEEE Internet of Things Journal, ISSN 2327-4662, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 1871-1882Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the perspective of the emerging Industrial Internet of things (IIoT), the 6TiSCH working group has been created with the main goal to integrate the capabilities of the IEEE 802.15.4e Time-Slotted Channel Hopping (TSCH) with the IPv6 protocol stack. In order to support time-critical applications in IIoT, reliable real-time communication is a key requirement. Specifically, aperiodic critical traffic, such as emergency alarms, must be reliably delivered to the DODAG root within strict deadline bounds to avoid system failure or safety-critical situations. Currently, there is no mechanism defined in the 6TiSCH architecture for timely and reliably handling of such traffic and its prioritization over the non-critical one. In this paper, we introduce REA-6TiSCH, a reliable emergency-aware communication scheme to support real-time communications of emergency alarms in 6TiSCH networks. In REA-6TiSCH, the aperiodic emergency traffic is opportunistically enabled to hijack transmission cells pre-assigned for the regular periodic traffic in the TSCH schedule. Moreover, we introduce a distributed optimization scheme to improve the probability that an emergency flow is delivered successfully within its deadline bound. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first approach to incorporate emergency alarms in 6TiSCH networks. We evaluate the performance of REA-6TiSCH through extensive simulations and the results show the effectiveness of our proposed method in handling emergency traffic compared to Orchestra scheme. Additionally, we discuss the applicability of REA-6TiSCH and provide guidelines for real implementation in 6TiSCH networks.

Keywords
Industrial IoT, industrial wireless sensor networks, real-time, time-critical applications.
National Category
Computer Engineering Communication Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-39658 (URN)10.1109/JIOT.2020.3016643 (DOI)000612146000047 ()2-s2.0-85100258105 (Scopus ID)
Projects
NIIT
Funder
Knowledge FoundationSwedish Foundation for Strategic Research
Available from: 2020-08-20 Created: 2020-08-20 Last updated: 2021-11-29Bibliographically approved
4. RMA-RP: A Reliable Mobility-Aware Routing Protocol for Industrial IoT Networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>RMA-RP: A Reliable Mobility-Aware Routing Protocol for Industrial IoT Networks
2019 (English)In: 2019 IEEE Global Conference on Internet of Things (GCIoT), IEEE, 2019Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Many emerging Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications involve the use of mobile devices, such as sensors and robots in industrial automation scenarios. Movement of mobile sensor nodes causes intermittent connectivity which in turn deteriorates the network performance in terms of packet loss and delay. The Routing Protocol for Low Power and Lossy Networks (RPL) is introduced as the standard routing protocol for IIoT networks. Although RPL constitutes a reliable and energy-efficient solution for static networks, there is no mechanism defined in the RPL standard of how to support routing in mobile IIoT networks. This paper introduces RMA-RP, a reliable mobility-aware routing protocol to support mobile IIoT networks. RMA-RP utilizes a dynamic motion detection mechanism based on the link quality to cope with topology changes by updating next-hop nodes. Moreover, an adaptive timer is introduced to manage the transmission rate of control messages in order to decrease the network overhead and in turn the energy consumption. We evaluate the performance of RMA-RP through extensive simulations in comparison to existing works and the results demonstrate that RMA-RP has at least 17% higher packet delivery ratio and achieves a reduction of 34% and 51% in terms of delay and network overhead, respectively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2019
Keywords
Industrial IoT, industrial wireless sensor networks, RPL, mobility.
National Category
Computer Engineering Communication Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-38202 (URN)10.1109/GCIoT47977.2019.9058396 (DOI)2-s2.0-85084130299 (Scopus ID)978-1-7281-4873-1 (ISBN)
Conference
2019 IEEE Global Conference on Internet of Things (GCIoT)
Projects
Next Generation Industrial IoT (NIIT)
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2020-01-10 Created: 2020-01-10 Last updated: 2021-11-29Bibliographically approved
5. Congestion control and traffic differentiation for heterogeneous 6tisch networks in IIoT
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Congestion control and traffic differentiation for heterogeneous 6tisch networks in IIoT
2020 (English)In: Sensors, E-ISSN 1424-8220, Vol. 20, no 12, p. 1-25, article id 3508Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Routing Protocol for Low power and lossy networks (RPL) has been introduced as the de-facto routing protocol for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). In heavy load scenarios, particular parent nodes are likely prone to congestion, which in turn degrades the network performance, in terms of packet delivery and delay. Moreover, there is no explicit strategy in RPL to prioritize the transmission of different traffic types in heterogeneous 6TiSCH networks, each according to its criticality. In this paper, we address the aforementioned issues by introducing a congestion control and service differentiation strategies to support heterogeneous 6TiSCH networks in IIoT applications. First, we introduce a congestion control mechanism to achieve load balancing under heavy traffic scenarios. The congestion is detected through monitoring and sharing the status of the queue backlog among neighbor nodes. We define a new routing metric that considers the queue occupancy when selecting the new parent node in congestion situations. In addition, we design a multi-queue model to provide prioritized data transmission for critical data over the non-critical ones. Each traffic type is placed in a separate queue and scheduled for transmission based on the assigned queue priority, where critical data are always transmitted first. The performance of the proposed work is evaluated through extensive simulations and compared with existing work to demonstrate its effectiveness. The results show that our proposal achieves improved packet delivery and low queue losses under heavy load scenarios, as well as improved delay performance of critical traffic. 

Keywords
6TiSCH, Congestion, Industrial IoT, Priority, RPL, Traffic differentiation, Trickle timer
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-39467 (URN)10.3390/s20123508 (DOI)000553481400001 ()2-s2.0-85086766830 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2020-07-06 Created: 2020-07-06 Last updated: 2022-02-10
6. HyS-R: A Hybrid Subscription-Recovery Method for Downlink Connectivity in 6TiSCH Networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>HyS-R: A Hybrid Subscription-Recovery Method for Downlink Connectivity in 6TiSCH Networks
2020 (English)In: 2020 25th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA), IEEE, 2020Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Routing Protocol for Low power and lossy network (RPL) is designed to support communication requirements in 6TiSCH networks in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. RPL is mostly optimized for uplink communication, however, less attention is given to maintain connectivity for downlink communications. Supporting downlink communications is non-trivial task in process automation and control scenarios within the IIoT. RPL in its current definition is inefficient to support reliable downlink communications in terms of scalability and memory requirements leading to significant degradation in network performance. This paper introduces HyS-R, a Hybrid Subscription-Recovery method to maintain downlink connectivity and mitigate memory limitations in large-scale 6TiSCH networks. The proposed method is based on a relief group that is used as alternative route to unreachable destinations in the network. An intermediate node subscribes to the relief group when it fails to advertise a destination to its next-hop node. In addition, members of the relief group keep searching for alternative forwarders to keep the communication traffic to a minimum. Performance evaluations are carried out and the results demonstrate that the proposed HyS-R attains significant improvements in downlink communications compared to RPL storing and non-storing modes with a margin of energy cost.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2020
National Category
Communication Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-40025 (URN)10.1109/ETFA46521.2020.9212025 (DOI)000627406500258 ()2-s2.0-85093362229 (Scopus ID)978-1-7281-8956-7 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA)
Available from: 2020-10-07 Created: 2020-10-07 Last updated: 2021-11-29Bibliographically approved

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