Energy consumption is a perennial issue in the design of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) which typically rely on portable sources like batteries for power. Recent advances in ambient energy harvesting technology have made it a potential and promising alternative source of energy for powering WSNs. By using energy harvesters with supercapacitors, WSNs are able to operate perpetually until hardware failure and in places where batteries are hard or impossible to replace. In this paper, we study the performance of different medium access control (MAC) schemes based on CSMA and polling techniques for WSNs which are solely powered by ambient energy harvesting using energy harvesters. We base the study on (i) network throughput (S), which is the rate of sensor data received by the sink, (ii) fairness index (F), which determines whether the bandwidth is allocated to each sensor node equally and (iii) inter-arrival time (γ) which measures the average time difference between two packets from a source node. For CSMA, we compare both the slotted and unslotted variants. For polling, we first consider identity polling. Then we design a probabilistic polling protocol that takes into account the unpredictability of the energy harvesting process to achieve good performance. Finally, we present an optimal polling MAC protocol to determine the theoretical maximum performance. We validate the analytical models using extensive simulations incorporating experimental results from the characterization of different types of energy harvesters. The performance results show that probabilistic polling achieves high throughput and fairness as well as low inter-arrival times.
Wireless sensor networks, Medium access control, CSMA, Probabilistic polling, Energy harvesting
Computer and Systems Architecture | Software Engineering
Software and Cyber-Physical Systems
Ad Hoc Networks
EU, Zhi Ang; TAN, Hwee-Pink; and SEAH, Winston K. G..
Design and performance analysis of MAC schemes for wireless sensor networks powered by ambient energy harvesting. (2011). Ad Hoc Networks. 9, (3), 300-323. Research Collection School Of Information Systems.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/sis_research/2955
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