Modeling, Analysis and Design of Wireless Sensor Network Protocols

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have a tremendous potential to improve the efficiencyof many systems, for instance, in building automation and process control.Unfortunately, the current technology does not offer guaranteed energy efficiencyand reliability for closed-loop stability. The main contribution of this thesis is toprovide a modeling, analysis, and design framework for WSN protocols used in controlapplications. The protocols are designed to minimize the energy consumption ofthe network, while meeting reliability and delay requirements from the applicationlayer. The design relies on the analytical modeling of the protocol behavior.First, modeling of the slotted random access scheme of the IEEE 802.15.4medium access control (MAC) is investigated. For this protocol, which is commonlyemployed in WSN applications, a Markov chain model is used to derive theanalytical expressions of reliability, delay, and energy consumption. By using thismodel, an adaptive IEEE 802.15.4 MAC protocol is proposed. The protocol designis based on a constrained optimization problem where the objective function is theenergy consumption of the network, subject to constraints on reliability and packetdelay. The protocol is implemented and experimentally evaluated on a test-bed. Experimentalresults show that the proposed algorithm satisfies reliability and delayrequirements while ensuring a longer lifetime of the network under both stationaryand transient network conditions.Second, modeling and analysis of a hybrid IEEE 802.15.4 MAC combining theadvantages of a random access with contention with a time division multiple access(TDMA) without contention are presented. A Markov chain is used to model thestochastic behavior of random access and the deterministic behavior of TDMA.The model is validated by both theoretical analysis and Monte Carlo simulations.Using this new model, the network performance in terms of reliability, averagepacket delay, average queueing delay, and throughput is evaluated. It is shown thatthe probability density function of the number of received packets per superframefollows a Poisson distribution. Furthermore, it is determined under which conditionsthe time slot allocation mechanism of the IEEE 802.15.4 MAC is stable.Third, a new protocol for control applications, denoted Breath, is proposedwhere sensor nodes transmit information via multi-hop routing to a sink node. Theprotocol is based on the modeling of randomized routing, MAC, and duty-cycling.Analytical and experimental results show that Breath meets reliability and delayrequirements while exhibiting a nearly uniform distribution of the work load. TheBreath protocol has been implemented and experimentally evaluated on a test-bed.Finally, it is shown how the proposed WSN protocols can be used in controlapplications. A co-design between communication and control application layers isstudied by considering a constrained optimization problem, for which the objectivefunction is the energy consumption of the network and the constraints are thereliability and delay derived from the control cost. It is shown that the optimaltraffic load when either the communication throughput or control cost are optimizedis similar.

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