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BurstProbe: Debugging Time-Critical Data Delivery in Wireless Sensor Networks

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In this paper we present BurstProbe, a new technique to accurately measure link burstiness in a wireless sensor network employed for time-critical data delivery. Measurement relies on shared probing slots that are embedded in the transmission schedule and used by nodes to assess link burstiness over time. The acquired link burstiness information can be stored in the node's flash memory and relied upon to diagnose transmission problems when missed deadlines occur. Thus, accurate diagnosis is achieved in a distributed manner
and without the overhead of transmitting rich measurement data to a central collection point. For the purpose of evaluation we have implemented BurstProbe in the GinMAC WSN protocol and we are able to demonstrate it is an accurate tool to debug time-critical data delivery. In addition, we analyze the cost of implementingBurstProbe and investigate its effectiveness.