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Routing Protocols For Low Power And Lossy Networks In Internet Of Things Applications

José V. V. Sobral, Joel J. P. C. Rodrigues, Ricardo A. L. Rabêlo, Jalal Al-Muhtadi, Valery Korotaev

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The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its applications has taken the attention of several researchers. In an effort to provide interoperability and IPv6 support for the IoT devices, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) proposed the 6LoWPAN stack. However, the particularities and hardware limitations of networks associated with IoT devices lead to several challenges, mainly for routing protocols. On its stack proposal, IETF standardizes the RPL (IPv6 Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks) as the routing protocol for Low-power and Lossy Networks (LLNs). RPL is a tree-based proactive routing protocol that creates acyclic graphs among the nodes to allow data exchange. Although widely considered and used by current applications, different recent studies have shown its limitations and drawbacks. Among these, it is possible to highlight the weak support of mobility and P2P traffic, restrictions for multicast transmissions, and lousy adaption for dynamic throughput. Motivated by the presented issues, several new solutions have emerged during recent years. The approaches range from the consideration of different routing metrics to an entirely new solution inspired by other routing protocols. In this context, this work aims to present an extensive survey study about routing solutions for IoT/LLN, not limited to RPL enhancements. In the course of the paper, the routing requirements of LLNs, the initial protocols, and the most recent approaches are presented. The IoT routing enhancements are divided according to its main objectives and then studied individually to point out its most important strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, as the main contribution, this study presents a comprehensive discussion about the considered approaches, identifying the still remaining open issues and suggesting future directions to be recognized by new proposals.