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Gupta V., Pereira N., Gaur S., Tovar E., Rajkumar R.

RTCSA 2014 - 20th IEEE International Conference on Embedded and Real-Time Computing Systems and Applications


Support for multiple concurrent applications is an important enabler for promoting the use of sensor networks as an infrastructure technology, where multiple users can deploy their applications independently. In such a scenario, different applications on a node may transmit packets at distinct periods, causing the node to change from sleep to active state more often, which negatively impacts the energy consumption of the whole network. In this paper, we propose to batch the transmissions together by defining a harmonizing period to align the transmissions from multiple applications at periodic boundaries. This harmonizing period is then leveraged to design a protocol that coordinates the transmissions across nodes and provides real-time guarantees in a multi-hop network. This protocol, which we call Network- Harmonized Scheduling (NHS), takes advantage of the periodicity introduced to assign offsets to nodes at different hop-levels such that collisions are always avoided, and deterministic behavior is enforced. NHS is a light-weight and distributed protocol that does not require any global state-keeping mechanism. We implemented NHS on the Contiki operating system and show how it can achieve a duty-cycle comparable to an ideal TDMA approach.