Enhanced power saving mode for low-latency communication in multi-hop 802.11 networks

Abstract

Keywords: Internet of Things IEEE 802.11 Power saving Ad hoc networks Multi-hop networks a b s t r a c t The Future Internet of Things (IoT) will connect billions of battery-powered radio-enabled devices. Some of them may need to communicate with each other and with Internet gateways (border routers) over multi-hop links. While most IoT scenarios assume that for this purpose devices use energy-efficient IEEE 802.15.4 radios, there are use cases where IEEE 802.11 is preferred despite its potentially higher energy consumption. We extend the IEEE 802.11 power saving mode (PSM), which allows WLAN devices to enter a low-power doze state to save energy, with a traffic announcement scheme that facilitates multi-hop communication. The scheme propagates traffic announcements along multi-hop paths to ensure that all intermediate nodes remain awake to receive and forward the pending data frames with minimum latency. Our simulation results show that the proposed Multi-Hop PSM (MH-PSM) improves both end-to-end delay and doze time compared to the standard PSM; therefore, it may optimize WLAN to meet the networking requirements of IoT devices. MH-PSM is practical and software-implementable since it does not require changes to the parts of the IEEE 802.11 medium access control that are typically implemented on-chip. We implemented MH-PSM as a part of a WLAN driver for Contiki OS, which is an operating system for resource-constrained IoT devices, and we demonstrated its efficiency experimentally. Nowadays almost every desktop computer, laptop, tablet , and smartphone is connected to the Internet. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will provide global IP connectivity to a broader variety of devices, such as entertainment electronics, wearable sport gadgets, home appliances, and industrial sensors. Some of these devices are portable, battery-powered, and need to connect wire-lessly to surrounding devices and Internet gateways. The wireless communication may significantly contribute to their overall battery consumption, especially in the case of constrained embedded devices. Therefore, minimizing the energy consumption of wireless interfaces and networking protocols is one of the prerequisites for the IoT (see Fig. 1). Different wireless standards have been proposed for IoT. Zigbee, which is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard [1], is often referred to as a wireless technology of choice for home and building automation, smart metering, and IoT in general because of its simplicity and energy-efficiency. Z-Wave [2] is another technology that targets similar applications and environments with emphasis on home automation. Both Zigbee and Z-Wave …

DOI: 10.1016/j.adhoc.2014.06.001

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