Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are among the most emerging technologies, thanks to their great capabilities and their ever growing range of applications. However, the lifetime of WSNs is extremely restricted due to the delimited energy capacity of their sensor nodes. This is why energy conservation is considered as the most important research concern for WSNs. Radio communication is the utmost energy consuming function in a WSN. Thus, energy efficient routing is necessitated to save energy and thus prolong the lifetime of WSNs. For this reason, numerous protocols for energy efficient routing in WSNs have been proposed. This article offers an analytical and up to date survey on the protocols of this kind. The classic and modern protocols presented are categorized, depending on i) how the network is structured, ii) how data are exchanged, iii) whether location information is or not used, and iv) whether Quality of Service (QoS) or multiple paths are or not supported. In each distinct category, protocols are both described and compared in terms of specific performance metrics, while their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Finally, the study findings are discussed, concluding remarks are drawn, and open research issues are indicated.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited