Challenging the IPv6 Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks (RPL): A Survey

Hyung-Sin Kim Networks

RPL is the IPv6 routing protocol for low-power and lossy networks, standardized by IETF in 2012 as RFC6550. Specifically, RPL is designed to be a simple and inter-operable networking protocol for resource-constrained devices in industrial, home, and urban environments, intended to support the vision of the Internet of Things with thousands of devices interconnected through multihop mesh networks. More than four-years have passed since the standardization of RPL, and we believe that it is time to examine and understand its current state. In this paper, we review the history of research efforts in RPL; what aspects have been (and have not been) investigated and evaluated, how they have been studied, what was (and was not) implemented, and what remains for future investigation. We reviewed over 97 RPL-related academic research papers published by major academic publishers and present a topic-oriented survey for these research efforts. Our survey shows that only 40.2% of the papers evaluate RPL through experiments using implementations on real embedded devices, ContikiOS and TinyOS are the two most popular implementations (92.3%), and TelosB was the most frequently used hardware platform (69%) on testbeds that have average and median size of 49.4 and 30.5 nodes, respectively. Furthermore, unfortunately, despite it being approximately four years since its initial standardization, we are yet to see wide adoption of RPL as part of real-world systems and applications. We present our observations on the reasons behind this and suggest directions on which RPL should evolve.

Published On: September 13, 2017

Presented At/In: IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials ( Volume: 19, Issue: 4, Fourthquarter 2017 )

Download Paper: http://bets.cs.berkeley.edu/publications/2017comst_rplsurvey.pdf

Authors: Hyung-Sin Kim, Jeonggil Ko, David Culler, Jeongyeup Paek