The impact of packet fragmentation and reassembly in resource constrained wireless networks

James Pope*, Robert Simon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Low-power and lossy (LLN) networks, including Wireless Sensor Networks, provide an important building block for Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The resource constraints associated with LLN devices necessitate the redesign of a number of basic Internet protocols. This paper evaluates the effect of packet fragmentation on the performance of protocols redesigned for LLN systems. We focus on the important class of tree-based LLNs that exhibit both one-to-many and many-to-one communication patterns. In particular, we measure the impact of fragmentation on these communication protocols. Our results demonstrate that excessive packet fragmentation has a tremendously negative impact on communication within a tree-based LLN system. This work provides a guideline for IoT engineers in techniques for avoiding these damaging effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Computing and Information Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Internet of Things communication
  • Internet protocols over embedded systems
  • Low-power and lossy networks


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