A survey of multimedia streaming in wireless sensor networks

Satyajayant Misra, Martin Reisslein, Guoliang Xue

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

322 Scopus citations


A wireless sensor network with multimedia capabilities typically consists of data sensor nodes, which sense, for instance, sound or motion, and video sensor nodes, which capture video of events of interest. In this survey, we focus on the video encoding at the video sensors and the real-time transport of the encoded video to a base station. Real-time video streams have stringent requirements for end-to-end delay and loss during network transport. In this survey, we categorize the requirements of multimedia traffic at each layer of the network protocol stack and further classify the mechanisms that have been proposed for multimedia streaming in wireless sensor networks at each layer of the stack. Specifically, we consider the mechanisms operating at the application, transport, network, and MAC layers. We also review existing cross-layer approaches and propose a few possible cross-layer solutions to optimize the performance of a given wireless sensor network for multimedia streaming applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-39
Number of pages22
JournalIEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Cross-layer mechanisms
  • Medium access control
  • Multimedia
  • Video streaming
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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