Traffic&Transportation Journal
Sign In / Sign Up


Comparison Between Reactive and Proactive Protocols of Wireless Sensor Networks: Railway Application
Carolina del-Valle-Soto, Leonardo Jesus Valdivia, Ramiro Velázquez


Railway is a critical application; hence, all systems that compose the railway infrastructure must meet two conditions: availability and safety. The availability ensures continuous operation of the system; on the other hand, safety is achieved when the device works properly regardless of the environmental or operating conditions. In addition, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are used to perform tasks previously performed manually. However, it is necessary to analyse what protocol is appropriate for the railway industry, since availability and safety are the required attributes. In this work, a recently proposed routing protocol, the Multi-Parent Hierarchical (MPH), has been compared with a well-known protocol, the Ad-hoc On-Demand Distance Vector (AODV), in order to find the most suitable one for the railway applications. For this purpose, a simulator has been developed, which faithfully reifies the workings of a given protocol, considering a fixed, reconfigurable ad-hoc network given by the number and location of participants, and general network conditions.


European Commission. HORIZON 2020 [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2018 Apr 24]. Available from:

European Union. Shift2Rail Innovation Programme 5 [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2018 Apr 25]. Available from:

Beijing Jiaoda Signal Technology Co. BTM-Balise Transmission Module [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2015 Jun 5]. Available from:

BBC News. Spain train crash: What happened. 2013; Available from:

Kruger M, Grosse C, Kurz J. Sustainable Bridges 5.5. Technical Report on Wireless Sensor Networks using MEMS for Acoustic Emission Analysis including other Monitoring Tasks. Stuttgart, Germany; 2007.

Guangjie H, Liu L, Jiang J, Shu L, Hancke G. Analysis of Energy-Efficient Connected Target Coverage Algorithms for Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks. IEEE Trans Ind Informatics. 2017;13(1): 135-43.

Bennett PJ, Soga K, Wassell IJ, Fidler P, Abe K, Kobayashi Y, et al. Wireless sensor networks for underground railway applications: case studies in Prague and London. Smart Struct Syst [Internet]. 2010;6(5-6): 619-39. Available from:

Del-Valle-Soto C, Mex-Perera C, Orozco-Lugo A, Lara M, Galván-Tejada GM, Olmedo O. On the MAC/Network/Energy performance evaluation of wireless sensor networks: Contrasting MPH, AODV, DSR and ZTR routing protocols. Sensors. 2014;14(12): 22811-47.

Rail Safety and Standards Board Limited. GE/GN8605 ETCS System Description; 2010.

Moreu F, Kim RE, Spencer BF. Railroad bridge monitoring using wireless smart sensors. Struct Control Heal Monit. 2017;24(2).

CENELEC. EN61508, Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems. Part 2: Requirements for electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems; 2000.

CENELEC. EN50126, Railway applications. The specification and demonstration of Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS); 2010.

CENELEC. EN50128, Railway applications. Communication, signalling and processing systems - Software for railway control and protection systems; 2012.

CENELEC. EN50129, Railway applications. Communication, signalling and processing systems. Safety related electronic systems for signalling; 2005.

Rezaee M, Sedaghat Y, Khosravi-Farmad M. A confidence-based software voter for safety-critical systems. Proceedings of the IEEE 12th International Conference on Dependable, Autonomic and Secure Computing, DASC 2014, 24-27 Aug 2014, Dalian, China; 2014. p. 196-201.

Biswas S, Das R, Chatterjee P. Energy-Efficient Connected Target Coverage in Multi-hop Wireless Sensor Networks. Ind Interact Innov Sci Eng Technol [Internet]. 2018;11: 411-21. Available from:

Mainwaring A, Culler D, Polastre J, Szewczyk R, Anderson J. Wireless sensor networks for habitat monitoring. Proceedings of the 1st ACM International Workshop on Wireless Sensor Networks and Applications, WSNA ’02, 28 Sep 2002, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; 2002. p. 88-97. Available from:

Mohemed RE, Saleh AI, Abdelrazzak M, Samra AS. Energy-efficient routing protocols for solving energy hole problem in wireless sensor networks. Comput Networks. 2017;114: 51-66.

Aranzazu-Suescun C, Cardei M. Reactive Routing Protocol for Event Reporting in Mobile-Sink Wireless Sensor Networks. Proceedings of the 13th ACM Symposium on QoS and Security for Wireless and Mobile Networks, Q2SWinet '17, 21-25 Nov 2017, Miami, Florida, USA; 2017. p. 43-50.

Lv X, Le X, Ding K. An Improved Cluster Routing Algorithm Based on ZRP Protocol. In: Li C, Mao S. (Eds) Wireless Internet. WiCON 2017. Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, vol 230. Springer, Cham; 2018. p. 261–71.

Raheja K, Maakar SK. A Survey on Different Hybrid Routing Protocols of MANET. Int J Comput Sci Inf Technol. 2014;3(5): 5512-6.

Young-Jae K, Young-Joo S. An Efficient Rate Switching Scheme for IEEE 802.11 Wireless LANs. Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE 61st Vehicular Technology Conference Vehicular Technology Conference, 30 May - 1 June 2005, Stockholm, Sweden. IEEE; 2005. p. 2364-8.

Taneja K, Taneja H, Kumar R. Multi-channel medium access control protocols: Review and comparison. J Inf Optim Sci. 2017;39(1): 239-47.

Hodge VJ, Keefe SO, Weeks M, Moulds A. Wireless Sensor Networks for Condition Monitoring in the Railway Industry: A Survey. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst. 2015;16(3): 1088-106.

Tolani M, Sunny, Singh RK, Shubham K, Kumar R. Two-Layer Optimized Railway Monitoring System Using Wi-Fi and ZigBee Interfaced Wireless Sensor Network. IEEE Sens J. 2017;17(7): 2241-8.

Wu Y, Jiang B, Lu N, Yang H, Zhou Y. Multiple incipient sensor faults diagnosis with application to high-speed railway traction devices. ISA Trans [Internet]. 2017;67: 183-92. Available from:

Ashiya K. Earthquake Alarm Systems. J Japan Assoc Earthq Eng. 2004;4(3): 112-7.

Ai B, Cheng X, Kurner T, Zhong ZD, Guan K, He RS, et al. Challenges toward wireless communications for high-speed railway. IEEE Trans Intell Transp Syst. 2014;15(5): 2143-58.

Hernandez A, Valdovinos A, Perez-Diaz-de-Cerio D, Valenzuela JL. Bluetooth low energy sensor networks for railway applications. 2017 IEEE Sensors Conference, 29 Oct - 1 Nov 2017, Glasgow, UK [Internet]; 2017. p. 1-3. Available from:

Chebrolu K, Raman B, Mishra N. Brimon: a sensor network system for railway bridge monitoring. Proc 6th Int Conf Mob Syst Appl Serv, MobiSys '08, 17-20 June 2008, Breckenridge, CO, USA [Internet]; 2008. p. 2-14. Available from:

Del-Valle-Soto C, Mex-Perera C, Orozco-Lugo A, Galvan-Tejada GM, Olmedo O, Lara M. An efficient Multi-Parent Hierarchical routing protocol for WSNs. 2014 Wirel Telecommun Symp, 9-11 Apr 2014, Washington, DC, USA; 2014.

Texas Instruments. CC2530 datasheet (Rev. B) [Internet]; 2015. Available from:

Anwar NB, Chowdhury S, Haque UM, Khan SNMS. Wildlife Monitoring using AODV Routing Protocol in Wireless Sensor Network. Int J Comput Networks Commun Secur. 2018;6(1): 17-23.

Ding G, Sahinoglu Z, Orlik P, Jinyun Z, Bhargava B. Tree-Based Data Broadcast in IEEE 802.15.4 and Zig-Bee Networks. IEEE Trans Mob Comput. 2006;5(11): 1561-74.

Sarwar MS, Chatterjee P. Optimal Sink Placement in Wireless Sensor Networks to Increase Network Performance. Ind Interact Innov Sci Eng Technol [Internet]. 2018; 11: 423-434. Available from:

Copyright (c) 2023 Carolina del-Valle-Soto, Leonardo Jesus Valdivia, Ramiro Velázquez

Published by
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences
Online ISSN
Print ISSN
SCImago Journal & Country Rank
Publons logo
© Traffic&Transportation Journal