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Duty Cycle Control for Low-Power-Listening MAC Protocols
November 2010 (vol. 9 no. 11)
pp. 1508-1521
Christophe J. Merlin, University of Rochester, Rochester
Wendi B. Heinzelman, University of Rochester, Rochester
Energy efficiency is of the utmost importance in wireless sensor networks. The family of Low-Power-Listening MAC protocols was proposed to reduce one form of energy dissipation—idle listening, a radio state for which the energy consumption cannot be neglected. Low-Power-Listening MAC protocols are characterized by a duty cycle: a node probes the channel every t_i {\rm s} of sleep. A low duty cycle favors receiving nodes because they may sleep for longer periods of time, but at the same time, contention may increase locally, thereby reducing the number of packets that can be sent. We propose two new approaches to control the duty cycle so that the target rate of transmitted packets is reached, while the consumed energy is minimized. The first approach, called asymmetric additive duty cycle control (AADCC), employs a linear increase/linear decrease in the t_i value based on the number of successfully received packets. This approach is easy to implement, but it cannot provide an ideal solution. The second approach, called dynamic duty cycle control (DDCC) utilizes control theory to strike a near-optimal balance between energy consumption and packet delivery successes. We generalize both approaches to multihop networks. Results show that both approaches can appropriately adjust t_i to the current network conditions, although the dynamic controller (DDCC) yields results closer to the ideal solution. Thus, the network can use an energy saving low duty cycle, while delivering up to four times more packets in a timely manner when the offered load increases.

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Index Terms:
Medium access control, duty cycle, control, low-power-listening.
Christophe J. Merlin, Wendi B. Heinzelman, "Duty Cycle Control for Low-Power-Listening MAC Protocols," IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 9, no. 11, pp. 1508-1521, Nov. 2010, doi:10.1109/TMC.2010.116
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