CTP: An efficient, robust, and reliable collection tree protocol for wireless sensor networks

Omprakash Gnawali, Rodrigo Fonseca, Kyle Jamieson, Maria Kazandjieva, David Moss, Philip Levis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


We describe CTP, a collection routing protocol for wireless sensor networks. CTP uses three techniques to provide efficient, robust, and reliable routing in highly dynamic network conditions. CTP's link estimator accurately estimates link qualities by using feedback from both the data and control planes, using information from multiple layers through narrow, platform-independent interfaces. Second, CTP uses the Trickle algorithm to time the control traffic, sending few beacons in stable topologies yet quickly adapting to changes. Finally, CTP actively probes the topology with data traffic, quickly discovering and fixing routing failures. Through experiments on 13 different testbeds, encompassing seven platforms, six link layers, and multiple densities and frequencies, and detailed observations of a long-running sensor network application that uses CTP, we study how these three techniques contribute to CTP's overall performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalACM Transactions on Sensor Networks
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Adaptive beaconing
  • Datapath validation
  • Link-quality estimation
  • Routing
  • Wireless network protocol
  • Wireless sensor network


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