A Study of Address Shortage in a Tree Based ZigBee Network for Mobile Health Applications


There are increasing demands for mobile health applications. This paper reports the development of a mobile health profile which dedicates to mobile applications. The mobile health profile is developed in association with the ZigBee Health Care profile and the IEEE 11073 standard which is normally applied to non-mobile applications. Since mobile sensors have to be carried by patients, the mobile health profile must facilitate mobility. In this investigation, a ZigBee fixed-mobile network (ZFMN) is defined and developed to supplement the ZigBee Health Care Profile for patient monitoring. The mobility study of ZigBee is performed using a random waypoint OPNET simulation model. In a ZFMN, the critical issue of address shortage is identified and discussed. It is analyzed that the problematic address shortage in a ZFMN may generate a huge amount of orphaned end devices and thus the packet drop percentage may potentially rise to 70%, rendering the network unable to function properly. Without introducing additional governing schemes, it is evaluated that the communication of the entire ZigBee network may paralyze. Further vigorous test are performed (by OPNET) on the communication capability of ZFMN when devices are randomly moving and sending data in 1s. It is vital to point out that under the adverse condition of address shortage, the performance of a ZFMN is still encouraging as long as the packet drop percentage has been kept below 3% before running out of address. The conclusion drawn in this analysis is that the packet drop percentage should be kept below 3% to provide a satisfactory QoS for an effective mobile health application using ZFMN such as patient monitoring. Such finding is also important for other future mobile application design of ZigBee. The address shortage issue is left as an open problem that needs attention for a resolution.

Share and Cite:

K. Lun Lam, H. Yan Tung, K. Tim Ko, K. Fung Tsang, H. Ching Tung, Y. Wah Leung and W. Hong Lau, "A Study of Address Shortage in a Tree Based ZigBee Network for Mobile Health Applications," Wireless Sensor Network, Vol. 4 No. 5, 2012, pp. 147-153. doi: 10.4236/wsn.2012.45021.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] W.-H. Chung, P.-C. Hsiu, Y.-Y. Shih, A.-C. Pang, Y.-K. Huang and K.-C. Hung, “Mobility-Robust Tree Construc-tion in ZigBee Wireless Networks,” The Proceeding of 2011 IEEE International Conference on Communication, 5-9 June 2011, pp. 1-6.
[2] H. Dhaka, A. Jain and K. Verma, “Impact of Coordinator Mobility on the Throughput in a ZigBee Mesh Networks,” The Proceeding of 2010 IEEE 2nd International Advance Computing Conference (IACC), 19-20 February 2010, pp. 279-284.
[3] J. S. Mu and K. H. Liu, “A Study on the Routing Selection Method in Zigbee Networks Based on the Mobility of the Nodes and the Scale of the Network,” The Proceeding of 2010 International Conference on Communications and Mobile Computing (CMC), Vol. 3, 2010, pp. 405-409.
[4] T. Hirou, Convergence Wireless Lars Schmitt, Philips, “ZigBee Health Care—What’s in Store for Health Care using ZigBee?” ZigBee Alliance, 2009. https://docs.zigbee.org/zigbee-docs/documents
[5] J. Adams, “ZigBee Health Care Wireless Control and Sensing in Health Care, Sports and Fitness, and Wellness,” ZigBee Alliance, 2009. https://docs.zigbee.org/zigbee-docs/documents
[6] ZigBee Alliance, “ZigBee Health Care Profile Specification,” Revision 15, Version 1.0, March 2010.
[7] D. I. Shin, S. J. Huh and P. J. Pak, “Patient Monitoring System Using Sensor Network Based on the ZigBee Radio,” 6th International Special Topic Conference on ITAB, Seoul, 8-11 November 2007, pp. 313-315.
[8] P. Frehill, D. Chambers and C. Rotariu, “Using Zigbee to Integrate Medical Devices,” Proceedings of the 29th Annual International Conference of the IEEE EMBS, 22-26 August 2007, pp. 6717-6720.
[9] W.-W. Lin and Y.-H. Sheng, “Using OSGi UPnP and Zigbee to Provide a Wireless Ubiquitous Home Healthcare Environment,” The proceedings of the Second International Conference on Mobile Ubiquitous Computing, Systems, Services and Technologies, 2008, Valencia, 29 September-4 October 2008, pp. 268-273.
[10] S. Nourizadeh, C. Derussent, Y. Q. Song and J. P. Thomesse, “Medical and Home Automation Sensor Networks for Senior Citizens Telehomecare,” The Proceeding of the First International Workshop on Medical Applications, 2009.
[11] J. Hou, B. Chang, D.-K. Cho, and M. Gerla, “Minimizing 802.11 Interference on Zigbee Medical Sensors,” In BodyNets, 2009.
[12] H. S. Kim and J. Yoon, “Hybrid Distributed Stochastic Addressing Scheme for ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4 Wireless Sensor Networks,” ETRI Journal, Vol. 33, No. 5, 2011, pp. 704-711. doi:10.4218/etrij.11.0110.0501
[13] L.-H. Yen and W.-T. Tsai, “The Room Shortage Problem of Tree-Based ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4 Wireless Networks,” Computer Communications, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2010, pp. 454-462. doi:10.1016/j.comcom.2009.10.013
[14] OPNET University Program. http://www.opnet.com/services/university/
[15] N.-C. Liang, P.-C. Chen, T. Sun, G. Yang, L.-J. Chen, and M. Gerla, “Impact of Node Heterogeneity in ZigBee Mesh Network Routing,” IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 8-11 October 2006, pp. 187-191. doi:10.1109/ICSMC.2006.384380
[16] T. J. Kwon, M. Gerla, V. K. Varma, M. Barton and T. R. Hsing; “Efficient Flooding with Passive Clustering—An Overhead-Free Selective forward Mechanism for Ad Hoc/Sensor Networks,” The IEEE Proceedings, Vol. 91 No. 8, 2003, pp. 1210-1220. doi:10.1109/JPROC.2003.814920
[17] B. Sun, K. Wu, Y. Xiao and R. h. Wang, “Integration of Mobility and Intrusion Detection for Wireless ad Hoc Networks,” International Journal of Communication Systems, Vol. 20, No. 6, 2007, pp. 695-721. doi:10.1002/dac.853
[18] A. S. Arezoomand and M. Pourmina, “Prolonging Network Operation Lifetime with new Maximum Battery Capacity Routing in Wireless Mesh Network,” 2010 The 2nd International Conference on Computer and Automation Engineering (ICCAE), Singapore, 26-28 February 2010, pp. 319-323.
[19] ZigBee Alliance, “ZigBee Stack Profile: Platform Restrictions for Compliant Platform Testing and Interoperability,” Revision 9, January 2008.
[20] “ISO/IEC/IEEE Health Informatics–Personal Health Device Communication—Part 20601: Application Profile —Optimized Exchange Protocol,” ISO/IEEE 11073- 20601:2010, 2010, pp. 1-208

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.