Does the assumption of exponential arrival distributions in wireless sensor networks hold?

Omondi F, Tasiran AC, Ever E, Doddapaneni K, Shah P, Mostarda L, Gemikonakli O. "Does the assumption of exponential arrival distributions in wireless sensor networks hold?" 2018;26(2):81-100.


Wireless Sensor Networks have seen a tremendous growth in various application areas despite prominent performance and availability challenges. One of the
common configurations to prolong the lifetime and deal with the path loss phenomena
is having a multi-hop set-up with clusters and cluster heads to relay the information.
Although researchers continue to address these challenges, the type of distributions
for arrivals at the cluster head and intermediary routing nodes is still an interesting
area of investigation. The general practice in published works is to compare an empirical exponential arrival distribution of wireless sensor networks with a theoretical
exponential distribution in a Q-Q plot diagram. In this paper, we show that such comparisons based on simple eye checks are not sufficient since, in many cases, incorrect
conclusions may be drawn from such plots. After estimating the Maximum Likelihood parameters of empirical distributions, we generate theoretical distributions
based on the estimated parameters. By conducting Kolmogorov-Smirnov test statistics for each generated inter-arrival time distributions, we find out, if it is possible to
represent the traffic into the cluster head by using theoretical distribution. Empirical
exponential arrival distribution assumption of wireless sensor networks holds only
for a few cases. There are both theoretically known such as Gamma, Log-normal
and Mixed Log-Normal of arrival distributions and theoretically unknown such as
non-Exponential and Mixed cases of arrival in wireless sensor networks. The work is
further extended to understand the effect of delay on inter-arrival time distributions
based on the type of medium access control used in wireless sensor networks

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