Cross-layer analysis of error control in underwater wireless sensor networks

Mari Carmen Domingo, Mehmet C. Vuran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several error control schemes have been introduced for Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks (UWSNs) to combat the effects of high error rates. However, these schemes have only been evaluated based on point-to-point communication metrics and do not consider the different underwater propagation phenomena. On the other hand, the unique properties of UWSNs such as the three-dimensional architecture and the underwater channel characteristics prevent existing studies of error control schemes for terrestrial sensor networks to be applied to this domain. In this paper, a cross-layer analysis framework is developed to evaluate existing error control techniques in three-dimensional multi-hop UWSNs. The developed framework captures the effects of automatic repeat request (ARQ), forward error correction (FEC), and hybrid ARQ schemes on end-to-end energy, latency, and packet error rate. In addition, different underwater propagation phenomena are considered with a particular attention on the presence of shadow zones. The theoretical analysis and the numerical evaluations reveal that exploiting FEC schemes with channel-aware routing reduces the end-to-end energy consumption and latency under all propagation phenomena for all water depths in UWSNs. The selection of the suitable error control scheme depends also on the water depth (shallow/deep water) and on the different underwater propagation phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2162-2172
Number of pages11
JournalComputer Communications
Issue number17
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


  • ARQ
  • Cross-layer analysis
  • FEC
  • Hybrid ARQ
  • Underwater networking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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