Delay-efficient MAC protocol with traffic differentiation and run-time parameter adaptation for energy-constrained wireless sensor networks

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This paper presents an asynchronous cascading wake-up MAC protocol for heterogeneous traffic gathering in low-power wireless sensor networks. It jointly considers energy/delay optimization and switches between two modes, according to the traffic type and delay requirements. The first mode is high duty cycle, where energy is traded-off for a reduced latency in presence of realtime traffic (RT). The second mode is low duty cycle, which is used for non-realtime traffic and gives more priority to energy saving. The proposed protocol, DuoMAC, has many features. First, it quietly adjusts the wake-up of a node according to (1) its parent’s wake-up time and, (2) its estimated load. Second, it incorporates a service differentiation through an improved contention window adaptation to meet delay requirements. A comprehensive analysis is provided in the paper to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed protocol in comparison with some state-of-the-art energy-delay efficient duty-cycled MAC protocols, namely DMAC, LL-MAC, and Diff-MAC. The network lifetime and the maximum end-to-end packet latency are adequately modeled, and numerically analyzed. The results show that LL-MAC has the best performance in terms of energy saving, while DuoMAC outperforms all the protocols in terms of delay reduction. To balance the delay/energy objectives, a runtime parameter adaptation mechanism has been integrated to DuoMAC. The mechanism relies on a constrained optimization problem with energy minimization in the objective function, constrained by the delay required for RT. The proposed protocol has been implemented on real motes using MicaZ and TinyOS. Experimental results show that the protocol clearly outperforms LL-MAC in terms of latency reduction, and more importantly, that the runtime parameter adaptation provides additional reduction of the latency while further decreasing the energy cost.
Wireless Sensor Networks, MAC Protocols, Energy-Efficiency, End-to-End Delay, Modeling, Optimization