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Hyung-Sin Kim, Jeongyeup Paek, David E. Culler, Saewoong Bahk

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We present PC-RPL , a transmission power-controlled IPv6 routing protocol for low-power and lossy wireless networks that significantly improves the end-to-end packet delivery performance under heavy traffic compared to the standard RPL. We show through actual design, implementation, and experiments that a multihop wireless network can achieve better throughput and routing stability when transmission power and routing topology are “jointly and adaptively” controlled. Our experiments show that the predominant “fixed and uniform” transmission power strategy with “link quality and hop distance”–based routing topology construction (i.e., RPL) loses significant bandwidth due to hidden terminal and load imbalance problems. We design an adaptive and distributed control mechanism for transmission power and routing topology, named PC-RPL , on top of the standard RPL routing protocol for hidden terminal mitigation and load balancing. We implement PC-RPL on real embedded devices and evaluate its performance on a 49-node multihop testbed. PC-RPL reduces total end-to-end packet losses by approximately sevenfold without increasing hop distance compared to RPL with the highest transmission power, resulting in 17% improvement in aggregate bandwidth and 64% improvement for the worst-case node by successfully alleviating both hidden terminal and load imbalance problems.