Data Communication and Network Routing-Computer Science Assignment Sample


You are required to research one of the technologies listed below and produce a report that teaches your fellow students about:

  • Body-Area-Networking

  • Global Positioning System (GPS)

  • Mobile devices and network security

  • Any other topic agreed upon with the tutor

You are required to research one of the above technologies and produce a report covering the issues related to the underlying technology, in relation to data communication and networks. You should use online open source materials, together with the subscription-only resources available to you via the University’s electronic library. Using your research, you should develop a report, which should address the following questions:

  1. Select one of the listed technologies and explain the fundamental method by which it operates, exploring the underlying networking principle.

  2. Discuss, evaluate and investigate the weaknesses and potential applications.

  3. As part of this assignment, you will use online open-source and subscription-only sources of information. You should consider the reliability and quality of the information sources you used in your research, especially with regard to free resources. You should use the following criteria to evaluate the reliability of data and information used in this assignment and give examples as appropriate:

  • Accuracy

  • Authority

  • Objectivity

  • Currency

  • Coverage







BAN or Body Area Network is a wireless network computer device that may be embedded in the body or surface mounted on the body in some fixed position. Hence, it is also known as wireless body area network (WBAN) or a body sensor network (BSN) or a medical body area network (MBAN).[1] It is a wearable technology which is easy to carry and be worn at different position as well. The development of BAN was started in 1995 (and is still being worked upon) which was derived from Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN). The work BAN come into play in around 2001. These are basically short range wireless network for individuals and consists of electrical and electromagnetic communication technology.[2][3] It helps in connecting to several access points that are not far then few meters. These are currently used in medical field for monitoring of patients for some of the sensitive cases like heart attack and some fitness applications to keep track of the person that how many calories he/she has burnt or how much distance he has covered via walking.

Concept and Components:

BAN devices are wearable computer devices, which may replace other devices placed or mounted on human body. Various kinds of sensors are introduced in the network field that help in detecting and knowing the condition helping in monitoring the person. Hence these devices are near to the body of a person and works on the basis of the signals that these sensors sends. BAN notes the signal that is being released from the body of human and sends and store these signals. By seeing the pattern of the signal it decides what to and how to response towards it (eg. if a person is having heart attack, then the sending signal to the person looking after him/her will have a high fluctuation, telling them that the condition of the person is not good). Similarly for the fitness app, different gadget keeps track of the movement of the user and notes the work done by him/her, hence calculating approximate calories burnt that day.

BAN monitors motion of the person carrying it using sensors which includes energetic sign monitoring sensors, motion detectors, accelerometers, physiological sensors, etc. which fulfills the purpose of detecting the location and some communication, transmitting readings to caretaker or fulfilling other purposes.[5] The sensors that are currently present and are in work in various fields like medical or fitness includes body pulse sensor, body temperature sensor, insulin sensor, ECG, etc which are directly connected to body control unit.


IEEE 802 formats covers the LAN’s and MAN’s and are widely accepted standards all over the world for almost all kind of networks. The same governs the BAN. IEEE 802.15.6 which is the latest standard and is the international standard for BAN. It aims to the confidentiality, authentication, integrity, privacy protection, and replay defense of the network system. It defines the rules like all the devices should be at same security level and procedures like security association should be performed to identify the devices in the network. This standard is based on 4 basic key agreement protocols that have security problems. Other than security, it also governs the data rate which is upto 10mbps, quality of service (QoS) as well as bandwidth approved by medical or regulation authorities. This standard also work on constant effort on portability of device as the specific absorption rate of signal may vary person to person which may change the characteristic of the result obtained due to users motion.


BAN initially was used majorly in healthcare applications and medical field, especially for monitoring purpose of the patients suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma attack etc. But with time BAN found application in many other fields because of its properties and reliability. These application includes technical requirements in sports, military and security. Hence making ease the working and monitoring the threats and proper response.
The work is being done to use these fields in more fields like monitoring, detecting, networking, etc. Hence, if problems of BAN solved then we will be able to see it almost everywhere around us in near future.

Few Applications that are currently present and may come possibly in near future are:

  • Patient is having a heart attack then hospital can be informed about it so that required majors can be taken. This allows better look after of the patient as even if a single person is assigned to any such patient, there might be a case where the person misses and patient have an attack at vary same time.

  • Pumping of insulin in patient body as soon as insulin level decreases in his body. This is the best example as we cannot continuously be checking the insulin level in the patient body.

  • User authentication via BAN, when someone tries to operate any pc or device then BAN device line smart watch can help is faster and better authentication.

  • Entry control system or check-in for a room, these devices can help let you know who was and is present in the rooms which are highly sensitive. These are very common these days in offices where employees are having access cards through they make their entry and exit.

  • Fitness monitoring, apps can monitor persons using BAN to calculate the calories burnt and the work or workout done by the person. Smart watches are available which keeps track of how many steps have you walked.

  • Blood pressure monitoring system, which may look after and stores the previous and current record of the person blood pressure. A continuously check a patient who is having irregular blood pressure which is very risky. In such case this device may be very helpful and may save someone’s life.

Challenges Of BAN:

BAN may face many challenges in terms of security and competition with various other technologies. These are:

  • Data Quality: Since the basic advantage of using BAN is the data that is provides, so it is essential for it to provide a quality data to serve its purpose efficiently. Even a small change or variation of data from the real or original one may cause a big problem in some cases.

  • Data Management: Since BAN generates large amount of data there should be proper resources to manage that data and proper manipulation of it so that such large data can actually be used and be helpful.

  • Weak signals: The signals that the BAN devices send are weak, so developer need some strong chip that can even detect that small or weak or very low level signals.

  • Noise-interference: Since the signals of BAN are weak, hence even a small amount of noise can cause large damage to the data that is being sent. This causing low signal to noise ratio. Hence proper IC designers should be working to make signal to noise ratio higher, hence better output.

  • Security: The security of the BAN is one of the major challenge. The data that is being transferred should be safe and secure. Since weaker security will invite hacker in the system and can cause high damage even equal to death of a person.

  • Data Consistency: The data that is being transferred should be consistent. All the data that is collected from the all the BAN devices should be collected together and analysed them in a smooth fashion.

  • Cost: Cost of BAN devices should be not too much and must be affordable to the customers. Since these devices are currently under research they are not much affordable for most of the people and implementation cost is high as well. These factors have made it hard for a normal person to buy it. Hence, its implementation should be made cost efficient.

  • Monitoring: User may require different level of monitoring on the data sent by BAN devices. The monitoring may influence the energy used and the BAN energy source may be depleted.

  • Forcing on electric-field Communication: Experts rejects the idea of using radio wave communication due to interference of potential signals. Also since BAN wearers have to be in contact with external pad, hence using electric-field will unacceptable compromise their freedom.[4]

Future Possibilities:

Since constant efforts are being made on BAN and its benefit to carry easily and quite good response, the future scope of it being made which in near future might change and replace lots of current technologies. The devices like will prove very helpful for people needing medical attention and in reference of controlling robots. This could help people as it works on their body response hence it will response much faster than any other current technology.


As the technology is moving forward and the research is being in done, we might interact a lot of BAN devices in our future and may be possible that they become the basic part of our lives. Though there are lots of challenges that BAN is currently facing but they are proving a lot beneficial and easy to use might probably replace many of the current technologies.


[1] Developing wireless body area networks standard.

[2] Sana Ullah, Henry Higgins, Bart Braem, Benoit Latre, Chris Blondia, Ingrid Moerman, Shahnaz Saleem, Ziaur Rahman and Kyung Sup Kwak, A Comprehensive Survey of Wireless Body Area Networks: On PHY, MAC, and Network Layers Solutions, Journal of Medical Systems (Springer), 2010. doi:10.1007/s10916-010-9571-3.

[3] Chen, Min; Gonzalez, Sergio; Vasilakos, Athanasios; Cao, Huasong; Leung, Victor (2010). “Body Area Networks: A Survey” (PDF). Mobile Networks and Applications (MONET). 16 (2): 1–23.




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