Pages: pp. 305-306
Energy efficiency is critical to ensuring scalability, embedding, and portability of emerging computing and communication systems. It is of particular interest in the design of mobile computing systems because of the limitations in energy and power availability. In this special section, we focus on energy efficiency in design of ad hoc wireless sensor networks. The inspiration for this theme focus came from the IEEE/JPL Workshop on Wireless Communications and Networks held at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories in September 2002. After two rounds of a thorough review process, we are pleased to present you two papers concerning energy efficient networking functions for sensor networks.
The first paper titled, "Multiple Access Protocol for Power Controlled Wireless Access Networks," by Arash Behzad and Izhak Rubin considers the problem of power controlled medium access in wireless networks. The authors use a network architecture consisting of a wireless access network supported by a backbone network. While the backbone network allocates slots for the nodes in the access network to access the shared medium, the nodes in the access network make power efficient networking decisions. The authors show the advantages in increasing network throughput while maintaining specified minimum signal to interference and noise ration at all the receiver nodes.
The second paper titled, "Methods for Scalable Self-Assembly of Ad Hoc Wireless Sensor Networks," by Katayoun Sohrabi, William Merrill, Jeremy Elson, Lewis Girod, Fredric Newberg, and William Kaiser presents a link level strategy to drive the self-assembly for ad hoc sensor networks. The authors use innovations in network formation mechanisms that rely on hierarchical network topology and use dual radios to improve the power efficiency of the network assembly and maintain network connectivity in presence of network changes including removal/addition of new nodes.
These two papers are representative of the range of possibilities in improving energy efficiency in networking functions. While the focus on networking related issues is natural in ad hoc wireless sensor networks due to the dominance of the communications/networking functions on total power consumption profile as well as the natural evolution of research in this area, we sincerely believe that power efficiency cuts across sensing, computing, and communication subsystems, and future contributions in this area to the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing will surely highlight these other aspects.
We thank our reviewers for their diligence in the review process and its follow up to ensure that the published papers represents substantial and new technical advances in the area; and to our authors for their patience with the multiple iterations of the review process. Our thanks to EIC, Tom La Porta, and transactions assistant Jennifer Carruth for making this issue possible. We hope you enjoy this special section.