Advancing Healthcare Networks: Optimizing Multi-Objective RPL for Diverse Traffic in Low-Power, Lossy Environments

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Animesh Giri, Annapurna


RPL: Powering modern healthcare IoT Networks. The Routing Protocol for Low Power and Lossy Networks(RPL) is a protocol specifically designed for routing in networks characterized by low power and lossy connections built on IPv6. It is specifically designed for the growing use of Instantaneous IoT (Internet of Things) applications. These networks cater to the specialized requirements of Low Power (resource-constrained) and Lossy Networks(unstable networks), also known as LLNs, where routing data smoothly and prioritizing traffic types are the significant challenges. Studies have shown that standard RPL, which makes use of a set of routing rules, struggles to provide the level of performance that many IoT applications in modern-day healthcare demand. This limits RPL’s potential in scenarios where we have a mix of data traffic, which is very common in healthcare settings. To handle the diverse data traffic found in healthcare settings, our method involves distributing several instances of RPL settings throughout the network. The main objective of this strategy is to improve the effectiveness of important and critical healthcare applications.

We have developed and thoroughly tested our system using Contiki, which is an open-source IoT operating system. We have three instances in our MultiInstance RPL setup, each of which is intended to handle different kinds of network traffic and provide varying Quality of Service (QoS) measures. Different sets of Objective Function (OF) rules are used by each instance to decide which route is optimal for the data it processes. We have made use of OF0 (Objective Function 0) and MRHOF (Minimum Rank with Hysteresis Objective Function). We have rigorously tested our solution. Our focus has been on metrics like delay, average energy consumption and Packet Delivery Ratio (PDR). Compared to standard RPL, our approach improved packet delivery rates and significantly reduced delays for high priority data packets. This research shows how to better address the complex data traffic needs of real-time healthcare IoT networks.

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