Evaluating Routing Protocol for Low power and Lossy Networks (RPL)-Based Load Balancing Routing Algorithms in Internet of Things (iot) Networks

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of different objects communicating different information in different scenarios. The networking objects are embedded with low-power devices that are responsible for collecting data in the physical environment and transmitting the data from one point to another. Routing is a mandatory factor in low-power devices to improve data transmission due to the volume of data transmitted in an IoT network. The Internet engineering task force designed an IPv6 routing protocol for low-power and lossy network (RPL) to govern data transmission in low-power devices. However, RPL fails to transmit data effectively in large IoT networks because it does not balance the load distribution during data transmission. Load balancing is the factor that enables the data to be distributed effectively among the IoT devices until they reach the destination. Several authors proposed load-balancing routing algorithms for RPL which were evaluated in different network scenarios. The proposed RPL-based load balancing routing algorithms offers partial load balancing and were evaluated in non-standard network areas and network size. Thus, it is challenging to identify an effective RPL-based load-balancing routing algorithm. To find the effective RPL-Based load balancing routing algorithms for IoT networks, we proposed three RPL-based load-balancing routing algorithms for the IoT network namely: Enhanced Context aware and load balancing routing algorithm for RPL (ENCLRPL), Buffer occupancy load balancing for RPL (BLRPL) and Enhanced ETXPC-RPL(EN-ETXPC-RPL). The design science research method (DSRM) was adopted to conduct this study. The algorithms were developed in the Contiki operating system and demonstrated in a simulation environment to find their effectiveness in an IoT network. The performance of the RPL-based load-balancing routing algorithms was evaluated based on reliability and stability metrics in different network sizes. The results obtained indicate that BLRPL is the most effective routing algorithm for IoT networks with the maximum of 96% of packet delivery ratio, 0.16 ms of network delay and 1.0 mW power consumption.
A dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the academic requirements for the degree of Master of Science in the Department of Computer Science in the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, University of Zululand, 2022.