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QoS Taxonomy towards Wireless Body Area Network Solutions

Shah Murtaza Rashid Al Masud

Najran University, P.O. Box 1988 Najran, Saudi Arabia

ABSTRACT

To improve the health care facilities for the people a tiny, automated, and intelligent medical device and technology namely wireless body area network (WBAN) evolved. The derivation of this technology is wireless sensor network (WSN) consists of sensors, actuators, radio systems, and transmission systems which should be situated in, on, and around the human body to measure, store, and transmitted patients’ vital signs and syndromes for further investigation, treatment, decisions, and awareness. Researchers in all around the world now have very enthusiastic interest to advance this technology especially on certain standardizations like its architecture, cost effectiveness, energy consumption or power efficiency, security and privacy topics. Academicians are trying to improve the QoS factors in sensor networks by suggesting new protocols. But quality of services (QoS) factors concerning WBAN technology still remains insignificant whereas QoS issues are also a major concern. WBAN needs diverse functioning requirements vary from application to application which are very perceptive hence entail more attention. Research personnel concerning QoS issues in WBAN should handle real time data transmission system, data rate, end-to-end data transmission, data transmission accuracy rate, latency, delay time, jitter, low power data transmission, data availability, minimum data loss, data security, network coverage, frequency, bandwidth, throughput, and reliability matters very seriously and an effective way. In this paper we tried to focus on the overall limitation, scopes, and challenges issues concerning QoS factors in WBAN. We have also given our effort to identify, analyze and present some of the recent protocols and technologies developed towards updating QoS issues in WBAN. This research article will help the researchers, academicians and practitioners to further study, modification, and develop more efficient QoS-based-WBAN. At the end of this research paper a number of open research issues are also discussed.

Keywords: Quality of Service (QoS), WBAN, WSN, QoS Requirements

1. INTRODUCTION

Quality of service (or QoS) is one of the important features of any application like internet, wireless networks, ad hoc networks, wireless sensor networks (WSNs), and wireless body area networks (WBANs). But the reality is that QoS matters didn’t get more attention in WSNs and WBANs like other features such as design, architecture, energy efficient protocol design, nodes’ positioning and location [1]. Other than health monitoring the major applications of WSNs include environmental monitoring, military surveillance digitally equipped homes, manufacturing process monitoring, conferences, vehicle tracking and detection (telemetry), and monitoring inventory control. Whereas, WBAN is location independent portable patients’ monitoring system, sporting activities, and emergency system including military services developed by using tiny and intelligent low powered and cost effective sensor devices [2][3]. The main provisions for WBANs are low power consumption that is energy efficient WBAN protocols, low latency, scalability, quality of service (QoS), reliability, efficient bandwidth utilization, and throughput, co-existence with other WBANs technologies, and high security and privacy [4]. WBAN is classified into three main classes, they are: off-body, on-body, and in-body communication. BAN nodes (BN) and BAN network coordinators (BNC) are used to communicate bidirectional from BNC to BN and vice versa. BNC is the gateway to external networks like internet, wireless local area networks (WLAN), wireless personal area networks (WPAN), and cellular networks. Shorter or limited range WLAN can be used for indoor connectivity like inside room, house, clinic, hospital, or health care center, in the other hand cellular networks can be used for longer distance that is outdoor connectivity. This will help seamless roaming and end-to-end QoS factor. For real time application it doesn’t need to store data, but for non-real time applications the gateway can store data locally and use when necessary [5]. A typical BAN structures along with the comparison other types of wireless networks are shown in Figure 1 [6]. Person’s vital signs which are usually created by sensors on, in, and around the individual body accountable for sensing organic or biological signals such as movement, temperature, pulse, diabetes, blood pressure, electromyography, electrocardiogram, oxygen saturation, etc. WBAN technology is used to continuously monitoring

oxygen saturation, etc. WBAN technology is used to continuously monitoring Volume 2, Issue 4, April 2013
oxygen saturation, etc. WBAN technology is used to continuously monitoring Volume 2, Issue 4, April 2013

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these vital signs for patients’ health status analysis. Low frequency, small information bandwidth based physiological signals which are commonly detected by sensors in WBAN is listed in the following Table 1.

by sensors in WBAN is listed in the following Table 1. Figure 1: A typical wireless

Figure 1: A typical wireless body area network (WBAN) application [6]

Table 1: Commonly detected Physiological signals by sensors in WBAN

Physiological Signal

Signal frequency range/ Bandwidth (Hz)

Range of parameter

ECG signal

0.01-250

0.5-4 mV

Respiratory rate

0.1-10

2-50 breaths/min

Blood pressure (BP)

0-50

10-400 mg/Hg

Blood flow

0-20

1-300 ml/s

Blood pH

0-2

6.8-7.8 pH

EEG

0.5-60

3µV-300µV

Body temperature

0-0.1

32-40 0 C

EMG (Electromyogram)

10-5000

10µV-15mV

GSR (Galvanic Skin Reflex)

0.03-20

30µV-3mV

Cardiac rate

0.4-5

 

Oximetry

0-30

 

Arterial pressure

0-60

 

Nerve potentials

Max 10,000

0.01-3 mV

Patients’ real time data and vital signs are the key elements for the WBAN technology that is why these data sets should be handled with special care ensuring reliability, security, and accuracy since a wrong signal could make vulnerable the person’s life. Towards bridging the physical world and electronic systems in WBAN sensors are playing a vital role, and a wide range of commercially available sensors can be deployed, such as accelerometer and gyroscope, ECG, electromyography (EMG), and electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes, pulse oximetry, respiration, carbon dioxide (CO2), blood pressure, blood sugar, humidity, and temperature sensors etc. The following Table 2 has shown the commonly used sensors along with their work range. It also notices the wide variation in data rate, bit error rate (BER), delay tolerance, duty cycle, and lifetime, which requires scalable solutions with quality of service (QoS) provisions [7]. Table 2: Sensors commonly employed in WBAN systems and their typical data rates.

Sensor

How it works

Data rate (kbps), Bit error rate (BER), Setup

rates. Sensor How it works Data rate (kbps), Bit error rate (BER), Setup Volume 2, Issue
rates. Sensor How it works Data rate (kbps), Bit error rate (BER), Setup Volume 2, Issue

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time, Duty cycle, Desired battery lifetime, P2P latency

Accelerometer

Measures the acceleration relative to free fall in three axes

High, <10 kbps up to 12 nodes, <10 -10 , <3s, <1%, >1 week, <

250

ms

Gyroscope

Measures the orientation based on the principles of angular momentum

High, <10 kbps up to 12 nodes,

<10 -10 , <3s, <1%, >1 week, <

 

250

ms

ECG

Measures potential difference across electrodes put on corresponding parts of the body

High, 6.0, <10 -10 , <3s, <10%, >1 week, < 250 ms

EMG

Measures potential difference across electrodes put on corresponding parts of the body

High, 1.536 Mbps for up to 6 nodes, <10 -10 , <3s, <10%, >1 week, < 250 ms

EEG

Measures potential difference across electrodes put on corresponding parts of the body

High, 3.6, <10 -10 , <3s, <10%, >1 week, < 250 ms

Pulse Oximetry

Measures ratio of changing absorbance of the red and infrared light passing from one side to the other of a thin part of the body's anatomy

Low, <10 -10 , <3s, week, < 250 ms

<1%,

>1

Respiration

Uses two electrodes, cathode and anode covered by a thin membrane to measure the oxygen dissolved in a liquid

Low, 0.24; <10 -10 , <3s, <1%, >1 week, < 250 ms

Carbon dioxide

Uses the infrared light and measures the absorption of the gas presented

Low, <10 -10 , week, < 250 ms

<3s,

<1%,

>1

Blood pressure

Measures the systolic pressure (peak pressure) and diastolic pressure (minimum pressure)

Low, 0.05, <10 kbps up to 12 nodes, <10 -10 , <3s, <1%, >1 week, < 250 ms

Blood sugar

Traditionally analyzes drops of blood from a fingertip recently, uses non-invasive method including a near infrared spectroscopy, ultrasound, optical measurement at the eye, and the use of breath analysis

Low, <10 -10 , <3s, week, < 250 ms

<1%,

>1

Humidity

Measures the conductivity changes of the level of humidity

Very low

 

Temperature

Uses a silicon integrated circuit to detect the temperature changes by measuring the resistance

Very low, 0.0024-0,05; <10 -10 , <3s, <1%, >1 week, < 250 ms

Drug delivery

 

<16

Deep

brain

 

<320, <10 -3 , <3s, <50%, >3 years, < 250 ms

simulations

Hearing Aid

 

70, <10 -10 , <3s, <10%, >40 hours, < 250 ms

Capsule

 

500,

<10 -10 ,

<3s, <50%, >24

Endoscope

hours, < 250 ms

Drug Dosage

 

<0.5, <10 -10 , <3s, <1%, >24 hours, < 250 ms

Audio

 

1 Mbps for 3 nodes, <10 -5 , <3s, <50%, >24 hours, < 100 ms

Video/

Medical

 

<10 Mb/s for 2 node, <10 -3 , <3s, <50%, >12 hours, < 100 ms

Imaging

Despite the fact that WBAN technology is still new, the industry is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Our research paper has been provoked by the recent studies with admiration to WBAN usages and increase of human centric computing using wearable sensing devices. The different aspects of QoS factors of WBAN are presented in our research paper. This paper has been organized as follows. In section 1, we presented a brief introduction of the subject matter. In section 2, we presented the IEEE requirements necessary for WBAN development. In section 3, we focused a general

requirements necessary for WBAN development. In section 3, we focused a general Volume 2, Issue 4,
requirements necessary for WBAN development. In section 3, we focused a general Volume 2, Issue 4,

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observations on QoS and its main objectives. In section 4, we discussed service issues of WSN towards developing quality enable WBAN. In section 5, we analyzed the challengeable circumstances of QoS in WBAN. In section 6, we discussed various QoS techniques, mechanisms, and metrics necessary to build efficient WBAN. In section 7, we briefly studied, analyzed, and discussed the existing QoS based techniques, protocols and models for WBAN. In section 8, we discussed some open research issues of QoS and then finally in section 9 the conclusion.

2. IEEE AND WBAN

A highly reliable communication for medical devices especially for those which are implanted in the human body a radio frequency (RF) based wireless technology is needed, it was formally defined by the IEEE 802.15 working groups [8] [9]. The transmissions of WBAN nodes cover a short range of about 2 m [10], and other specifications of WBAN [11] are shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Technical requirements along with IEEE specification for WBAN technology

Requirements

 

Specifications

Distance/ operating space

2 m standard and 5 m special use; in, on, and around the body

Network Density

 

2-4 nets/m2

Network Size

 

Max : 100 devices/network, modest < 64 devices per BAN

Target lifetime

 

Up to 5 year for implants Up to 1 week for wearable Ultra-long for implants Long for wearable

Target frequency bands

 

MedRadio, ISM, WMTS, UWB Global Unlicensed and Medical bands

Power Consumption

 

~1mW/ Mbps, support for several power management and consumption scheme

Peak power consumption

Between 0.001–0.1mW in stand-by mode up to 30mW in fully active mode Scalable

Network Throughput

 

100 Mbps Max

Data rate

From sub kb/s up to 10 Mb/s Scalable

MAC

Low power listening, wake up, turn-around and synchronization Scalable, reliable, versatile, self-forming

Topology

Self-forming, distributed with multi-hop support Star, Mesh or Tree

Device Duty cycle, Very Low, Low, and High duty cycle modes

From 0.001% up to 100% Adaptive, Scalable Allows device driven degradation of services

Startup Time

 
Startup Time  

Latency

10 ms

Network setup time

 

< 1 sec ( Per device setup time excludes network initialization)

Coexistence

 

Simultaneous co-located operation of up to 10 independent BANs

 

• BER: from 10–10 to 10–3

• P2P latency: from 10ms – 250ms

QoS

differentiation

support

and

• Reservation and prioritization

Real-time waveform data, periodic parametric

 

data, episodic data and emergency alarms

Future proof

 

Upgradeable, scalable, backwards compatible, effective sleep mode, peer to peer, point to multi point communication , QoS and guaranteed bandwidth, high privacy and security

Fault tolerance

 

Ability to isolate and recover from failures. Self-healing capability; No single point of failure

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Dynamic Environment

Seamless operation of multiple nodes moving in and out of range of each other; Body shadowing (twisting, turning, running), Attenuation

Security

Authentication, Authorization, Privacy, Confidentiality, Encryption, Message integrity; Many levels, long term, short term, light weight

Safety/Biocompatibility

Meet regulatory requirements. e.g., FDA, SAR and HIPPA; No harmful effects of long term continuous use

Ergonomic consideration

Non-invasive, unobtrusive, small size, weight and form-factor Size, shape, weight and form factor restricted by location and organ

Reprogramming,

Ability to reprogram, recalibrate, tune and configure devices wirelessly; Personalized, integrated, configurable and context aware services

Calibration,

Customization

 

Antenna Pattern

Omni Directional, small, and flexible

3. QOS OBSERVATIONS AND MAIN OBJECTIVES

It is very difficult to find and give definition of QoS related to wireless sensor networks. Among many of definitions we can select the following as examples. The number of useful sensors used to send data at any given period of time [12]. QoS can also determine by network characteristics like data transmission, and error rates [13]. QoS also depends on the network quality types such as bandwidth, latency, and jitter [14]. In most of the cases the performance or quality service vary from application to application and these applications can be classified as reliability, timeliness, robustness, trustworthiness, and adaptability [15]. QoS issues towards developing high-quality and well-organized WSN and WBAN is a great research area. But it needs more attention due to the critical level of operations for example critical information with zero delay, real time data transmission with no error or drop, deployment, reliability, security, privacy, and some features related to power or energy. There are two perspectives in traditional QoS point of view, they are applications and network. In the first case, QoS usually refers to the quality as apparent by the user/application, but in networking perspective, QoS is accepted as a measure of the service quality that the network offers to the applications/users. The two QoS perspectives can be demonstrated using a simple form as shown in Figure 2 [16].

using a simple form as shown in Figure 2 [16]. Figure 2: QoS perspectives: a general

Figure 2: QoS perspectives: a general view

The efforts of QoS are categorized as best effort (no QoS), guaranteed services (hard QoS) or differentiated services (soft QoS). Any application must satisfy any one of the above three categories to achieve its QoS goal [17]. QoS goals for any application should include the maximization of services by the network by minimal usage of energy (energy consumption) and efficient bandwidth utilization [18]. So the technologies like WBAN, WSN we should be very careful that in both cases we have inadequate computational resources, restricted memory and limited time (deadlines) for an event. Major QoS of wireless WBANs are latency & reliability [18].

for an event. Major QoS of wireless WBANs are latency & reliability [18]. Volume 2, Issue
for an event. Major QoS of wireless WBANs are latency & reliability [18]. Volume 2, Issue

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4. CONCERNING SERVICE ISSUES OF WSN TOWARDS DEVELOPING QUALITY ENABLE WBAN

Wireless sensor network is an intelligent, agile, low-cost, and ultra-low power technology developed by using sensors that can collect data and help to transmit when necessary. The fundamental differences between sensor networks and ad hoc networks are illustrated in the following Table 4.

Table 4: Difference between sensor networks and ad-hoc networks

Parameter

Wireless Sensor Network

Ad-hoc Network

Sensor nodes number

High

Low

Topology

Frequently changes

Almost fixed for a long time

Efficiency

Sensors nodes are densely developed

Flexible

Failure rate

High due to sensor nodes

Low

Communication

Used for broadcast communication

Used for point-to-point communications

Computing capacity

Limited in power, computational capacities and memory

High

Cost

High due to large number of sensors and overhead

Reasonable

For healthcare monitoring system, WSN, wearable and implantable wireless body area network emphasis on some significant components such as Tele-monitoring, tracing and monitoring doctors and patients, and drug administration [19]. Almost similar technologies used and applications of WSN are gradually moving into BBAN. The key goal of WSN system is patients' physiological signals monitoring, where the main goal of WBAN is providing real time feedback of patients biological data, and uninterruptedly observing health parameters like heartbeat rate, blood pressure level in an efficient way and also some other parameters of patients' on-body, around body and in-body [20]. Depending on the level of usages of WSN and WBAN technologies information or facts acquirement through sensor devices can be point-to-point or multipoint-to-point. A WSN system that detects and transmits patients' vital signs through electric signals is illustrated in Figure 3 [19].

through electric signals is illustrated in Figure 3 [19]. Figure 3: A typical WSN system for

Figure 3: A typical WSN system for detecting and transmitting signals from a human body: (a) current application and (b) future application [19].

WBANs have some own characteristics which are different from conventional wireless sensor networks (WSNs) and also characterized into some categories such as architecture, network density, data rate, latency, mobility, and many more. It may include many devices and applications and has the characteristics of general wireless sensor networks. In Table 5 in our research paper a schematic overview of differences between WSN and WBAN are given [21] [22] [23]. A WBAN can use the outmoded approaches existing for general sensor networks and must also have support to handle life-threatening emergency situations.

and must also have support to handle life-threatening emergency situations. Volume 2, Issue 4, April 2013
and must also have support to handle life-threatening emergency situations. Volume 2, Issue 4, April 2013

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Table 5: Differences between WSN and WBAN

Challenges

 

WSN

 

WBAN

Scale

Monitored environment (m/km)

 

Human body (cm/m)

 

Node number

Many

redundant

nodes

for

wide

Fewer, limited in space

 

area coverage

   

Result accuracy

Through node redundancy

 

Through node accuracy and robustness

 

Node tasks

Node performs a dedicated task

 

Node performs multiple task

 

Node size

Small

is

preferred,

but

not

Small is essential

 

important

   

Network topology

Very likely to be fixed and static

More variable due to body movement

 

Data rates

Homogeneous

 

Heterogeneous WBAN may occur in a more periodic manner and stable data rate. The data rate may vary from few kb/s to few Mb/s.

Latency

Nodes can

be physically

Replacement of batteries in WBAN nodes is much easier done when energy conservation is definitely beneficial.

unreachable after deployment. It may be necessary to maximize battery life-time in WSN at the expense of higher latency.

Node replacement

Performed

easily,

nodes

even

Replacement of implanted nodes difficult

 

disposable

   

Node lifetime

Several years/months

 

Several years/months, smaller battery capacity

 

Power supply

Accessible and likely to be replaced more easily and frequently

Inaccessible

and

difficult

to

replace

in

an

implantable setting

 

Power demand

Likely to be large, energy supply easier

Likely to be lower, energy supply more difficult

 

Energy scavenging

Most likely solar and wind power

Most likely motion (vibration) and thermal (body heat)

source

Biocompatibility

Not

a

consideration

in

most

A must for implants and some external sensors

 

applications

 

Security level

Lower

Higher, to protect patient information

 

Impact of data loss

Likely

to

be

compensated

by

More significant, may require additional measures to ensure QoS and real-time data delivery

redundant nodes

 

Wireless

Bluetooth, Zigbee, GPRS, WLAN

Low power technology required

 

technology

Mobility

WSN nodes are usually considered stationary.

WBAN users may move around. WBAN nodes share the same mobility pattern.

5. THE CHALLENGES CIRCUMSTANCES OF QOS IN WBAN

In our research paper we have studied and analyzed the major challenges while developing a QoS based WBAN. The most important QoS challenges in WBANs are illustrated in following Table 6.

Table 6: Major challenges in order to develop QoS based WBAN

Parameters

Related challengeable Circumstances to ensure QoS

Limited

resources

and

Limited energy, bandwidth, memory, and processing and communication capabilities.

capabilities

Scalability

Number of WBAN nodes may be increased or decreased, but QoS should not be affected for this reason.

Multi-source

multi-sink

Platform heterogeneity, service-oriented architecture, resource self- management and security requirements [24]. And also critical infrastructure protection [25]

systems

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Node deployment

QoS methods must have available geographical information of the BAN nodes.

Dynamic network topology

QoS is constant and should not be affected with network topology changes due to link failures, node power failures, or different power management mechanisms.

Various types of applications

Large number applications with various QoS requirements.

Various traffic types

QoS method should be equal effective during peak and low traffic periods.

Wireless link unreliability

The wireless links among the sensor nodes can be easily affected by various environmental factors, shorter links appears to be more reliable than longer links.

Real-time system

Medical care are mostly used in real-time WBANs system. They have high requirements on bandwidth, delay guarantees and delivery time, packet delivery, guaranteed medium access and also end-to-end delay guarantee.

Multimedia data in WSNs and WBANS in some cases

High

throughput,

low delay and data redundancy, successful deliver

multimedia content.

Data redundancy

Is very important in multimedia and real-time WSNs and WBANs. It is usually reduced with different data aggregation technologies [26]. Otherwise, it should be taken into account in QoS methods.

6. QOS TECHNIQUES, MECHANISMS, AND METRICS NECESSARY TO BUILD EFFICIENT WBAN

For managing risks in medical applications it is important to properly handling QoS issues [27] [28] [29]. Reliability is the key factor towards guaranteed delivery of data in reasonable time. It directly affects the quality of patient monitoring; in other hand it can be disastrous when a life-threatening result has gone unobserved and undetected. WBAN layers along with QoS metrics, techniques, and mechanisms which must be fulfilled at these layers [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] are described in Table 7 bellow.

Table 7: WBAN layers along with QoS issues

Layers

 

QoS issues

QoS metrics, techniques, and mechanisms

Application

It includes system lifetime, response time, data novelty, detection probability, data reliability and data resolution.

Coverage, Exposure, Measurement errors, Optimum number of active sensors.

Layer

Transport

It

includes

reliability,

Maximizing end-to-end reliability. Bandwidth/throughput fairness. Minimizing congestion probability. Minimizing energy consumption. QoS mechanisms are: Loss recovery, Congestion control, Flow control, Source prioritization.

Layer

bandwidth, latency, and cost.

Network Layer

It includes path latency, routing maintenance, congestion probability, routing robustness and energy efficiency.

QoS metrics: Minimizing path latency/delay, Maximizing routing reliability, Minimizing energy consumption, Minimizing congestion probability, Providing effective sample rate. Routing QoS techniques are: Minimum cost forwarding, Energy aware routing, Maintaining low routing control overhead, In-network data aggregation and Differentiation routing:

Connectivity

it includes network diameter, network capacity, average path cost, connectivity, robustness and connectivity maintenance

 

Maintenance

Layer

Coverage

It includes coverage percentage, coverage reliability, coverage robustness, coverage maintenance.

 

Maintenance

Layer

coverage robustness, coverage maintenance.   Maintenance Layer Volume 2, Issue 4, April 2013 Page 228
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MAC Layer

It includes communication range, throughput, transmission reliability, and energy efficiency

QoS metrics: Minimizing medium access delay, Minimizing collisions, Maximizing reliability. Minimizing energy consumption, Minimizing interference and maximizing concurrency, Maximizing adaptively to changes. QoS mechanisms: Adaptation and learning, Error control, Data suppression and aggregation, Power control, Clustering, and Service differentiation

Physical Layer

It includes physical capabilities impose resource

 

7. STUDY AND ANALYSIS OF EXISTING QOS BASED PROTOCOLS, TECHNIQUES AND MODELS

FOR WBAN

A superior number of QoS solutions specific for WSNs have been proposed by many researchers previously but these solutions mainly focus on one or a few QoS features such as reliability, delay, bandwidth specification or reservation [36]. For WBANs, researchers have shown little effort to provide QoS solutions. In this research paper we have studied and analyzed existing QoS based WBAN techniques and models which are illustrated in the Table 8.

Table 8: Existing QoS based WBAN techniques, and models

Existing QoS based WBAN Model, and Techniques

Main Features

Improvements

to

Studied and analyzed the reliability issues and proposed some additional mechanisms to improve the reliability [37]. These improvements will positively affect the throughput of the network and lead to fewer retransmissions.

CICADA

BodyQos

BodyQos [38] focused on three unique challenges: To use an asymmetric architecture where most of the processing is done at the central device. To support a wide variety of different MACs. An adaptive resource scheduling strategy is used in order to provide statistical bandwidth guarantees as well as reliable data communication in WBANs.

NGL03-6

Vergados et al. show different QoS requirements for medical data over the broadband networks using the wireless DiffServ technology. Different biomedical measurements need different sampling rate as well as service time and it introduces the need of QoS provisioning in WBAN [39].

Ad-hoc

wireless

High reliability of message delivery technology is proposed [40].

network

e-emergency

Gama et al. present a low power real time (LPRT) protocol to fulfill the QoS requirements of an e-Health care system. Authors discussed the need for QoS in wireless e-health and e- emergency services [41].

QoS provisioning in emergency telemedicine

An overview of the e-Health technology with QoS provisioning is presented in [42].

Mission-critical m- health services with some QoS constrain

Mei et al. work on a mission-critical m-health services with some QoS constrain. End-to- end delay, system availability and battery lifetime are considered as the key performance matrices for the critical health care application [43].

A prototype system for continual health monitoring at home.

Otto et al [44] present some of the key factors that could affect the performance of such a

network, thereby reducing the reliability of the WBAN.

Ambulatory

Peiravi et al discuss a scheme where a set of sensors are connected to a central controller node in a star topology, and the central controller node forwarding data to the personal server. The researchers have shown that neither the controller nor the sensors would know a failure in each other. Also the reliability of a sample WBAN is computed [45].

monitoring

and

health care

AFTCS

G. Wu et al explained that a high degree of reliability for critical data transmission is required in body sensor networks (BSNs). An adaptive and flexible fault-tolerant communication scheme for BSNs, namely AFTCS, is proposed. AFTCS adopts a channel bandwidth reservation strategy to provide reliable data transmission when channel impairments occur [46].

strategy to provide reliable data transmission when channel impairments occur [46]. Volume 2, Issue 4, April
strategy to provide reliable data transmission when channel impairments occur [46]. Volume 2, Issue 4, April

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WASP

Braem et al [47] present an autonomous spanning tree protocol called WASP (Wireless Autonomous Spanning tree Protocol), to improve the reliability of multi-hop WBANs. They identify the energy efficiency provided by employing multi-hop communication, and present a slotted multi-hop approach to improve the medium access control and routing, thereby improving the reliability of WBAN communication.

Low delay protocol

Latre et al [48] present a low delay protocol to improve communication among the sensors and the sink node, thereby improving the reliability of data communication.

Reliable

data

A. Willig et al give an introduction to the reliable data transport problem and surveys protocols and approaches for this protocol [49].

transport model

Urgency based MAC protocol for WBAN, U-MAC

Urgency based MAC protocol for WBAN, U-MAC, is a priority access mechanism to allow sensor nodes with urgent health information contend for the channel more than the nodes with non-urgent information [50]. The main consideration of the protocol is on the system design. Based on the performance results, this protocol can help on adjusting the critical node's packet retransmission times for supporting a certain number of critical nodes with desired traffic arrival rate, or achieve certain arrival rate for a given number of critical nodes.

Employing IEEE 8025.15.4 for QoS in WBAN

Employing IEEE 8025.15.4 for QoS in WBAN [51] proposes a QoS provisioning framework by employing IEEE 802.15.4 super frame structure in beacon enabled mode. It defines four QoS parameters to specify the QoS requirements. Priority of the applications, delay constraint, arrival rate, and the available burst size are considered. QoS for IEEE 802.15.4 based WBAN [52] also defines QoS provisioning scheme in IEEE 802.15.4 with service differentiation and prioritization. It differentiates the traffic into different service classes and prioritizes them.

QoS

assurance

For secure and authenticated data transfer, secure and QoS assurance scheduling scheme is provided which further classify the traffic broadly into real time and non-real time in terms of QoS parameters [53].

scheduling scheme

Scalable

and

robust

The scalable and robust MAC protocol is proposed for appropriate and accurate channel sensing and another contention based method in CAP without carrier sense is discussed

MAC protocol

 

[54].

DQBAN

 

DQBAN [60] uses fuzzy-logic decision technique based scheduling algorithm to improve the overall performance and scalability [55].

PNP-MAC

 

PNP-MAC presents QoS in accordance with the priority of traffic. It also handles the QoS requirements through preemptive slot allocation and non-preemptive transmission [56].

MedWin [

 

QoS based MAC protocol design for WBAN proposed in MedWin [57]. It also proposed three types of access mechanism: scheduled access (1-periodic, m-periodic), improvised access (polls and posts), and random access (CSMA/CA).

Inha

QoS based MAC protocol proposed in Inha for WBAN where traffic is first categorized into three classes: emergency, normal, and on-demand [58].

IMEC

IMEC-NL and Holst Centre proposed IMEC. IMEC proposed priority guaranteed MAC in beacon enabled mode [59].

NICT [60], IMEC [59], Samsung [61], Fujitsu [62],

National Institute of Information and Communication of Japan proposed NICT [60], IMEC-NL and Holst Centre proposed IMEC [59], Samsung Electronics proposed Samsung [61], Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe Limited proposed Fujitsu [62], etc. All of these protocols have claimed to be compatible with IEEE 802.15.6 QoS requirements.

Some

Routing

Some Routing protocols such as Sequential Assignment Routing, Multi-path and multi- speed routing protocol, an Energy-Aware QoS Routing Protocol with focus on QoS are discussed [63].

protocols with

focus

on

QoS:

SAR,

SPEED,

Energy

 

aware

8. OPEN RESEARCH ISSUES

After a long discussion and analysis we found that the fundamental QoS metrics for WBAN technology are:

Decreasing overall energy consumption.that the fundamental QoS metrics for WBAN technology are: Maximizing network lifetime. Volume 2, Issue 4,

Maximizing network lifetime.QoS metrics for WBAN technology are: Decreasing overall energy consumption. Volume 2, Issue 4, April 2013

technology are: Decreasing overall energy consumption. Maximizing network lifetime. Volume 2, Issue 4, April 2013 Page
technology are: Decreasing overall energy consumption. Maximizing network lifetime. Volume 2, Issue 4, April 2013 Page

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Maximizing network throughput.Volume 2, Issue 4, April 2013 ISSN 2319 - 4847 Minimizing end-to-end delay. Maximizing overall reliability.

Minimizing end-to-end delay.April 2013 ISSN 2319 - 4847 Maximizing network throughput. Maximizing overall reliability. Minimizing collisions

Maximizing overall reliability.Maximizing network throughput. Minimizing end-to-end delay. Minimizing collisions Minimizing congestion Providing

Minimizing collisionsMinimizing end-to-end delay. Maximizing overall reliability. Minimizing congestion Providing effective sample rate.

Minimizing congestiondelay. Maximizing overall reliability. Minimizing collisions Providing effective sample rate. Finally, we generalize

Providing effective sample rate. Finally, we generalize assembled a list of current sensor networks research problems, which provide more opportunities and advantages of the WBANs systems. Along with the current problems of research, we encourage a deeper understanding of the problems and a lot of more development in solutions to the open research problems, as we have described in this paper.reliability. Minimizing collisions Minimizing congestion Transport, network, data link, physical layer, application

Transport, network, data link, physical layer, application layer and MAC layeropen research problems, as we have described in this paper. Power control, mobility and task management

Power control, mobility and task management planesdata link, physical layer, application layer and MAC layer Distributed network and Internet access to sensors,

Distributed network and Internet access to sensors, controls, and processorsMAC layer Power control, mobility and task management planes Data dissemination protocols Security protocol Information

Data dissemination protocolsand Internet access to sensors, controls, and processors Security protocol Information networking architecture

Security protocolcontrols, and processors Data dissemination protocols Information networking architecture Framework for

Information networking architectureprocessors Data dissemination protocols Security protocol Framework for implementing adaptive energy-aware distributed

Framework for implementing adaptive energy-aware distributed microsensorsSecurity protocol Information networking architecture Cluster formation protocol Laser communication from a cubic

Cluster formation protocolimplementing adaptive energy-aware distributed microsensors Laser communication from a cubic millimeter Scalable

Laser communication from a cubic millimeterdistributed microsensors Cluster formation protocol Scalable coordination architectures for deeply distributed

Scalable coordination architectures for deeply distributed and dynamic systemsprotocol Laser communication from a cubic millimeter Routing and power aware sensor management Distributed query

Routing and power aware sensor managementarchitectures for deeply distributed and dynamic systems Distributed query processing Mathematical framework that

Distributed query processingdynamic systems Routing and power aware sensor management Mathematical framework that incorporates key features of

Mathematical framework that incorporates key features of computing nodes and networking elementspower aware sensor management Distributed query processing Computation is directly limited due to the limited amount

Computation is directly limited due to the limited amount of power. Typically, biosensors are not expected to have the same computational power as conventional WSN nodes.key features of computing nodes and networking elements Material constraints are another issue for wireless sensor

Material constraints are another issue for wireless sensor networks application to WBANs and healthcare applications. A biosensor must be in contact with human body, or even on it. If the biosensor is inside a pill, the choice of construction materials must be careful, especially on batteries. Also chemical reactions with body tissue and the disposal of the sensor are of utmost importance.have the same computational power as conventional WSN nodes. The authors believe that the role of

The authors believe that the role of WBANs in medicine can be further enlarged. In the near future, the use of WBANs will increase because smart spaces will be enabled with wireless sensor networks which can sense environmental conditions and take preventive actions based on the presence of humans is those spaces. The system can therefore reach ubiquity, where each individual would have a computational module able to seamlessly interact with the smart space’s system and prevent health problems.

9. CONCLUSION

QoS has come forward as a foremost apprehension and research vicinity in the field of ad-hoc, sensor network, and body sensor network applications such as WBAN. But at a standstill much work has to be done. We believe that there should be further and more QoS definite WBAN research. To handle QoS challenges and issues in WBAN predominantly to advance the general functionality there is also need more research on energy efficient MAC and routing protocols. It’s also very important to monitor the QoS in body area sensor networks itself and we desire to take account of it in our upcoming research work. It’s a huge research domain for us especially for academicians and researchers to work for improving the performance level as well as QoS level in sense of in-body and out body WBAN.

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AUTHOR Shah Murtaza Rashid Al Masud is a lecturer at the faculty of Computer Science and Information Systems, Najran University, Najran, KSA. He received his M.Sc and B.Sc in Computer Engineering in the specialization of Computer intellect systems and networks in 2000, and 2001 respectively from Khrakov State University of Radio Electronics, Kharkov, Ukraine. His current research interest include parallel and distributed systems, GIS, GRID, Cloud computing, wireless BAN, expert systems, fuzzy logic, physical computation and thermodynamics, reversible logic, , and quantum computation. He has also published papers in accredited national and international journals and conference proceedings. Besides that, he also serves as a reviewer for various conferences and journals. Currently he is the member in various academic and scientific organizations.

Currently he is the member in various academic and scientific organizations. Volume 2, Issue 4, April
Currently he is the member in various academic and scientific organizations. Volume 2, Issue 4, April

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