Software Defined Networking for Wireless Sensor Networks: A Survey
Advances in Wireless Communications and Networks
Volume 3, Issue 2, March 2017, Pages: 10-22
Received: Apr. 24, 2017; Accepted: May 11, 2017; Published: May 28, 2017
Views 2772      Downloads 245
Muhammad Ali Hassan, School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
Quoc-Tuan Vien, School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
Mahdi Aiash, School of Science and Technology, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
Article Tools
Follow on us
One main feature of Software Defined Networking (SDN) is the basic principle of decoupling a device’s control plane from its data plane. This simplifies network management and gives network administrators a remarkable control over the network elements. As the control plane for each device within the network is now implemented on a separate controller, this reliefs individual devices from the overhead caused by complex routing. Specifically, this feature has been shown to be extremely beneficial in the case of resource-constrained Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). By keeping the control logic away from the low-powered nodes, the WSNs can resolve their major issues of resource underutilisation and counter-productivity. This paper highlights the importance of adopting the SDN in the WSNs as a relatively new networking paradigm. This is introduced through a comprehensive survey on relevant networking paradigms and protocols supported by a critical evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of these mechanisms. Furthermore, open research issues and challenges are pointed out shedding a light on future innovations in this field.
Software Defined Networking (SDN), Wireless Sensor Network (WSN), OpenDaylight, OpenFlow, Virtualised WSN
To cite this article
Muhammad Ali Hassan, Quoc-Tuan Vien, Mahdi Aiash, Software Defined Networking for Wireless Sensor Networks: A Survey, Advances in Wireless Communications and Networks. Vol. 3, No. 2, 2017, pp. 10-22. doi: 10.11648/j.awcn.20170302.11
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
J. D. McCabe, Network Analysis, Architecture, and Design, 3rd edition, Elsevier, 2007, ISBN: 9780123704801.
M. Dye, R. McDonald, and A. Rufi, Network Fundamentals, CCNA Exploration Companion Guide, 2007, ISBN: 9781587132087.
Q. Zhang and L. Liu, "Workload Adaptive Shared Memory Management for High Performance Network I/O in Virtualized Cloud," in IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 65, no. 11, pp. 3480-3494, Nov. 2016.
W. Xia, Y. Wen, C. H. Foh, D. Niyato and H. Xie, "A Survey on Software-Defined Networking," in IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 27-51, Firstquarter 2015.
D. Kreutz, F. M. V. Ramos, P. E. Veríssimo, C. E. Rothenberg, S. Azodolmolky and S. Uhlig, "Software-Defined Networking: A Comprehensive Survey," in Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 103, no. 1, pp. 14-76, Jan. 2015.
T. Mizrahi and Y. Moses, "Time4: Time for SDN," in IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 433-446, Sept. 2016.
I. F. Akyildiz, Weilian Su, Y. Sankarasubramaniam and E. Cayirci, "A survey on sensor networks," in IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 40, no. 8, pp. 102-114, Aug. 2002.
Johanna, “Wireless sensor network design,” 2014. Available at:
Silicon Labs (White Paper), “The Evolution of Wireless Sensor Networks,” 2013. Available at:
D. Cooley, “Wireless Sensor Networks Evolve to Meet Mainstream Needs,” 2012. Available at:
J. Tourrilhes, P. Sharma, S. Banerjee and J. Pettit, "SDN and OpenFlow Evolution: A Standards Perspective," in Computer, vol. 47, no. 11, pp. 22-29, Nov. 2014.
T. D. Nadeau and K. Gray, SDN: Software Defined Networks, O'Reilly Media, 2013, ISBN: 9781449342302.
S. Costanzo, L. Galluccio, G. Morabito and S. Palazzo, "Software Defined Wireless Networks: Unbridling SDNs," 2012 European Workshop on Software Defined Networking, Darmstadt, 2012, pp. 1-6.
SDX Central, “Understanding the SDN architecture,” 2015. Available at:
D. Suh, S. Jang, S. Han, S. Pack, M.-S. Kim, T. Kim and C.-G. Lim, "Toward Highly Available and Scalable Software Defined Networks for Service Providers," in IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 100-107, April 2017.
OpenDaylight, “OpenDaylight: Open Source SDN Platform,” 2013. Available at:
D. Ward, “OpenDaylight: Building an Open Source Community around SDN,” 2013. Available at:
T. Luo, H. P. Tan and T. Q. S. Quek, "Sensor OpenFlow: Enabling Software-Defined Wireless Sensor Networks," in IEEE Communications Letters, vol. 16, no. 11, pp. 1896-1899, Nov. 2012.
A. De Gante, M. Aslan and A. Matrawy, "Smart wireless sensor network management based on software-defined networking," 2014 27th Biennial Symposium on Communications (QBSC), Kingston, ON, 2014, pp. 71-75.
D. O’Shea, V. Cionca and D. Pesch, “The Presidium of Wireless Sensor Networks - A Software Defined Wireless Sensor Network Architecture,” in: R. Agüero, T. Zinner, M. García-Lozano, BL. Wenning, A. Timm-Giel (eds), Mobile Networks and Management, Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, vol 158. Springer, 2015.
B. Trevizan de Oliveira, L. Batista Gabriel and C. Borges Margi, "TinySDN: Enabling Multiple Controllers for Software-Defined Wireless Sensor Networks," in IEEE Latin America Transactions, vol. 13, no. 11, pp. 3690-3696, Nov. 2015.
K. Slavov, D. Migault and M. Pourzandi, “Identifying and addressing the vulnerabilities and security issues of SDN,” in Ericsson Technology Review, Vol. 92, No. 7, Aug. 2015. Available at:
Y. Choi, Y. Choi and Y.-G. Hong, "Study on coupling of software-defined networking and wireless sensor networks," 2016 Eighth International Conference on Ubiquitous and Future Networks (ICUFN), Vienna, 2016, pp. 900-902.
A. Boonsongsrikul, S. Kocijancic and S. Suppharangsan, "Effective energy consumption on wireless sensor networks: Survey and challenges," 2013 36th International Convention on Information and Communication Technology, Electronics and Microelectronics (MIPRO), Opatija, 2013, pp. 469-473.
A. Mahmud and R. Rahmani, "Exploitation of OpenFlow in wireless sensor networks," Proceedings of 2011 International Conference on Computer Science and Network Technology, Harbin, 2011, pp. 594-600.
L. Galluccio, S. Milardo, G. Morabito and S. Palazzo, "SDN-WISE: Design, prototyping and experimentation of a stateful SDN solution for WIreless SEnsor networks," 2015 IEEE Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM), Kowloon, 2015, pp. 513-521.
I. Ahmad, S. Namal, M. Ylianttila and A. Gurtov, "Security in Software Defined Networks: A Survey," in IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 2317-2346, Fourthquarter 2015.
N. Bizanis and F. A. Kuipers, "SDN and Virtualization Solutions for the Internet of Things: A Survey," in IEEE Access, vol. 4, pp. 5591-5606, 2016.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186