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Globecom 2012 - Wireless Networking Symposium

DeepSleep: IEEE 802.11 Enhancement for Energy-Harvesting Machine-to-Machine Communications

Hsiang-Ho Lin

Department of Electrical Engineering National Taiwan University

Hung-Yu Wei

Department of Electrical Engineering Graduate Institute of Communication Engineering Intel-NTU Connected Context Computing Center National Taiwan University *Corresponding author

Rath Vannithamby

Intel Labs

Abstract —As future M2M (Machine-to-Machine) communica- tions aim at supporting wireless networks which feature lon g range, long operating duration and large device number, the IEEE 802.11ah Task Group is going to specify a global WLAN standard that utilizes carrier frequencies below 1GHz. To power the M2M devices, harvesting energy from ambient environmen t has attracted attentions from researchers. Although applying the IEEE 802.11 PSM (Power-Saving Mode) scheme reduces energy consumption, devices go to sleep only when the traffic buffer is empty, staying awake unnecessarily, which wastes energy in overhearing the uplink traffic transmitted to the AP. In this paper, we propose DeepSleep, a novel energy-aware scheme, which grants higher channel access priority for low energy level devices dynamically. Moreover, applying DeepSleep scheme alleviates the channel congestion by randomly deferring the wake up time of the devices, thereby achieving higher energy-efficiency, which saves nearly 75 % of energy per delivered packet. Additionally, the overall performance improvement when DeepSleep device s co-exist with 802.11 devices is also verified.

I. I NTRODUCTION

M2M communications are typically characterized by con- necting autonomous devices to other devices. These devices communicate with a central controller or with each other without human intervention. M2M applications are low power consuming, such as lighting control, security sensing, med ical devices and entertainment systems, and thus there is large market potential for M2M services. Recently the IEEE 802 Working Group 802.11 is approved a project under the Task Group 802.11ah to amend the 802.11 standard to include Sub 1 GHz operation. With improved wireless propagation characteristic and larger coverage r ange, using carrier frequencies below 1 GHz is highly beneficial for outdoor rural area communications. The IEEE 802.11ah Task Group is going to specify the Sub 1 GHz global WLAN standard. M2M services such as Smart Grid, Surveillance, an d Smart Farming are the potential use cases that can be realized by using the Sub 1 GHz band. Although M2M services are often low power consuming, the limited energy source still poses great challenge to the wireless communication between devices, which is especial ly

critical for a large range and large device number network. I n situations where the devices are powered by batteries, 802.11 PSM can be applied to trade delay performance for longer battery life. In an M2M infrastructure WLAN with one Access Point (AP) and a number of devices serving as environment monitors, the data communications are mostly uplink only. Normally when a device has some data packets to send to the AP, it wakes up and transmit the packets through the process o f IEEE 802.11 DCF (Distributed Coordination Function), after which it enters sleep mode again. But if the device depletes all the energy, the operation suspends until the battery is replaced. Most of the research deals with the issue of power management by purposely delaying the data transmission or lowering the duty cycle to extend the inactive period, and thereby saving more power. Yet the energy saving comes at a cost of larger transmission delay. Energy harvesting is an emerging technology by which M2M devices can be powered from external sources rather than batteries. Such technology is cost-effective and energy- efficient, as devices can independently harvest and supply for their power use. The ambient energy come from external sources like solar, mechanical, heat or wind, which are renew- able energy harvested to power devices for a long period of time. The property meets the demands of M2M application such as structural health monitoring, whose devices are hard to access after deployed. Therefore, the recent advance in energy harvesting technology has shown great potential to power wireless devices operating in industries [1]. In a wireless network of mostly uplink traffic, the capability of IEEE 802.11 PSM to save energy is limited. When the number of devices increases, there will be much more energy wastage from overhearing and idle listening during backoff procedure. Lowering the contention window to shorten the backoff procedure is an option but it can lead to a higher collision probability. In view of that, we came up with a solution considering the fact that energy-harvesting devices are characterized by their various energy levels which also var y in time. In particular, we can provide a better energy expenditure

978-1-4673-0921-9/12/$31.00 ©2012 IEEE

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scheme by favoring the low energy devices to improve the overall network performance. In this paper, we present DeepSleep, a MAC (Media Ac- cess Control) enhancement scheme on IEEE 802.11 PSM. DeepSleep is designed for M2M networks deploying energy- harvesting devices, which can also adapt to high contention level caused by a large number of wireless devices. In short, DeepSleep enables overall energy-efficiency improvement a nd higher network reliability. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. Sec- tion II discusses the related work and Section III describes the problem formulation. Then the design of DeepSleep is presented in Section IV, which is followed by the simulation results in Section V. Section VI concludes the whole paper.

II. RELATED WORK

There is a lot of work focusing on energy-saving MAC protocols for sensor networks. The synchronous protocols, S-MAC [2] and T-MAC [3], require the sensors’ sleep and wakeup time to be synchronized. However, RI-MAC [4] and PW-MAC [5] are asynchronous protocols. As mentioned in [5], the optimally energy-efficient MAC protocol to achieve is that both the sender and the receiver wake up at the same time to transfer the packet and then immediately go to sleep. IEEE 802.11 PSM related research mainly comprises two categories, one is dynamic sleep and wakeup strategies on th e client side [6], [7], and the other is scheduling policies on the AP side [8], [9]. In [6], whenever a device overhears an RTS or CTS control packet that is not destined to it, it forces its radio interface to transit to a low energy idling state, avoiding energy wastage on overhearing background traffic. The p-persisten t sleep decision scheme proposed in [7] factors in more elemen ts for wake-ups, including remaining energy and other affecting factors related to the node status, to achieve more power sav- ings under the given delay constraints. The proposed scheme is different from the legacy IEEE 802.11 PSM in which a device wakes up once there are packets destined for it. The TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) scheme proposed in [8], suggests scheduling the data transmissions to reduce extra energy drain caused by background traffic. SOFA scheduler [9 ] provides an AP-centric scheme to deliver the downlink packe ts to the PSM clients in an optimal sequence. Energy-aware 802.11 enhancements [7], [10], [11] are highly related to our work. In [10], algorithms are provided to dynamically calculate CWMin and CWMax, taking into account the number of neighbors in one hop and the energy level of battery. BLAM [11] prohibits the low energy devices from contending for medium access with the high energy de- vices by setting transmission probability and random defer ring time based on the energy level. Therefore channel access for high-energy and low-energy nodes are separated as much as possible for lower channel contention, conserving the chan nel bandwidth and energy consumption. Some research focuses on both energy-harvesting sensors and MAC protocols. In [12], Tan et al. evaluate the impact of transmit power control on the usefulness of wireless sensor

networks for railway track monitoring. In their work, they consider a linear topology of perpetually powered data sink s and energy-harvesting sensors. In [13], the performance of four different MAC protocols for wireless sensor networks powered by energy harvesting is studied. The results show th at neither CSMA-based nor polling protocols always gives the best performance results. In [14], the class of ARQ (Automat ic Repeat reQuest) protocols where one or more relays assist th e source during the retransmission process is considered. Tak- ing advantage of cooperative radio communications, relaying packets can be viewed as a concept of borrowing energy from one another, balancing their energy consumption to match th eir own battery recharge rate. Thus, the cooperative protocols can be employed to improve the network throughput.

III. P ROBLEM F ORMULATION A ND 802.11 B ASELINE

S CHEME

In this paper we consider a WLAN system model with one AP and many M2M devices, which are all associated to the AP. The AP serves as an information data sink and other devices operate as environmental monitors. The devices capture eve nts and transmit the data packets to the AP, following the IEEE 802.11 standard. We assume that basically the devices wake up for beacons from AP at the beginning of every beacon period. In this baseline scheme, as the data communications are mostly uplink only, if the device’s traffic buffer is not empty, it stays awake and transmits packets to AP through the IEEE 802.11 DCF process. On the other hand, if the device has empty traffic buffer after receiving the beacon or it has transmitted out all the packets so the buffer is empty, the device can go to sleep until next beacon period. The AP uses AC power supply and the devices are energy-harvesting devices that harvest energy from ambient environment for powering. Thus, the energy level of these devices is dynamic. As the pseudo-code given in algorithm 1 and algorithm 2, in this system, once the energy level E of a device is under a usable level E 0 , the device will turn radio interface off for saving energy, entering outage state . And afterwards, the device can wake up and exit outage state only if E reaches a threshold level E th at the beginning of beacon period. Here we define the outage time to be the time duration a device staying in the outage state, and outage probability is the outage time divided by the overall time duration. The problem of the baseline scheme is that, to deliver uplink data packets to the AP, a device will waste a large portion of energy in idle listening and overhearing (definitions are given in Table I). This can be explained by looking into the backoff procedure. According to IEEE 802.11 DCF, a device will choose the backoff time uniformly in the range (0 ,CW 1) when it wants to transmit a packet. As long as the channel is sensed idle, the backoff time counter is decremented. In this state, the power consumption remains high but no packet can be transmitted. On the other hand, the backoff time counter i s frozen when a transmission is detected, and the device starts to receive the packet though it is highly possible an overhearing event in which the packet is not destined for the device itsel f.

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Algorithm 1 IEEE 802.11 Baseline Scheme: Beginning of Beacon Period 1: if in outage state and E E th then

2:

leave outage state

3:

end if

4: if not in outage state then

5:

wake up and receive beacon frame

6:

if packet buffer is empty then

7:

go to sleep

8:

else

9:

transmit packets

10:

go to sleep when buffer is empty

11:

end if

12: end if

Algorithm 2 IEEE 802.11 Baseline Scheme: Short of Energy 1: if E<E 0 then

2:

go to sleep

3:

enter outage state

4:

end if

As a result, the increase of devices contending for the chann el causes more energy wastage in a backoff procedure.

TABLE I

DEFINITION OF RI ( RADIO INTERFACE ) STATE

State

T ransmitting

Definition The RI is on and transmitting packets

Receiving

The RI is on and receiving packets destined to itself The RI is on and receiving packets destined to others

Overhearing

Idle Listening The RI is on and the channel is idle

Sleeping

The RI is off

Different from the battery-powered devices, which minimiz e energy consumption to extend battery lifetime, for energy- harvesting devices, we should optimize the energy expenditure to improve the overall network performance. As the energy- harvesting rate differs between devices and varies with tim e, there will be high energy level devices and low energy level devices, and their roles may change after a period of time. Additionally, the device currently on the edge of outage sta te can switch to a more power-efficient and high-prioritized strategy, and the devices with high energy level will have little concern on energy wastage. Taking advantage of this propert y, the energy expenditure can be better designed to improve the overall performance including the reduced outage probability, which is the indication of network reliability. We come up wi th an idea that using smaller contention window value, the low energy devices can have higher priority in channel access an d save more energy. This is in the cost of energy wastage and lower priority of other devices, which care little about energy shortage.

IV. D EEP S LEEP S CHEME

The DeepSleep scheme is designed to support the net- work in which energy-harvesting devices are widely deploye d.

The objective of DeepSleep is to reduce the overall outage probability, packet loss rate, delay time and amend energy- efficiency. We mainly focus on reducing the energy wasted in overhearing the transmission to other devices, and also allevi- ating the channel contention level caused by large number of devices. The DeepSleep scheme is developed based on 802.11 baseline scheme.

A. High Priority Energy-Aware Sleeping

The first part of DeepSleep scheme consists of Energy- Aware Sleeping algorithm and High Priority algorithm. First we focus on the value of CW min in backoff procedure of IEEE 802.11, as it can affect the overall collision probability a nd duration of overhearing and idle listening. If we intention ally allow some devices to use lower CW min value to transmit packets, their priority will be higher than others, which re duces overhearing and idle listening probability to save energy. But if too many devices are allowed to use lower CW min value at the same time, the contention level will become too high, leading to much more retransmission, degrading energy-efficiency. Based on the concept, the devices short of energy are granted higher channel accessing priority after sleeping for a whil e to drop out channel access. In Energy-Aware Sleeping algorithm, the device constantly checks its battery level E . If E is decremented below E DeepSleep , a threshold higher than the usable energy level E 0 , then the device goes to sleep, marking bool HighP riority true, and skipping n BP beacon frames. As for High Priority algorithm, when the device wakes up to transmit packets, it will check the value of bool HighP riority , if it’s true, the device will set its CW min a smaller value CW DeepSleep and set bool HighP riority false. Otherwise, the device will set its CW min back to the default value CW minOriginal . The pseudo-code is given in algorithm 3 and algorithm 4.

Algorithm 3 DeepSleep Scheme: Energy-Aware Sleeping 1: if E<E DeepSleep then

2:

bool HighP riority 1 go to sleep and skip n BP beacon frames end if

3:

4:

Algorithm 4 DeepSleep Scheme: High Priority 1: wake up to transmit packets

2:

3:

4:

if bool HighP riority = 1 then

CW min CW DeepSleep

bool HighP riority 0

5: else

6:

CW min CW minOriginal

7:

end if

B.

Random Deferring

Random Deferring is the second part of the proposed Deep- Sleep scheme. It is based on the observation that in baseline scheme, devices wake up at the same time and try to transmit

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packets from the beginning of the beacon period if the buffer is not empty. The whole packet delivery procedure is composed of some idle listening, overhearing states, and finally the data transmission and ACK reception. The contention level increases along with the growing device number, leading to longer idle listening and overhearing time through the backoff procedure. It is usually the case that most devices keep awake for a long period until their own buffer is empty. If we can defer the wake up time for part of the devices, the energy wasted in the backoff procedure can be reduced. This can be viewed as a concept of switching the preceding part of idle listening and overhearing states before the device’s p acket transmission into sleeping. Meanwhile, the channel conten tion level can be reduced due to less device number contending at the same time. Using Random Deferring, the AP broadcasts beacon frames containing the sleep probability P DeepSleep and deferring time T DeepSleep to the devices. The devices originally wake up to transmit packets after receiving beacon frame now have to make sleep decision according to the P DeepSleep . Once the device decides to go sleeping, it will wake up after the T DeepSleep . The pseudo-code is given in algorithm 5.

Algorithm 5 DeepSleep Scheme: Random Deferring 1: after receiving beacon frame 2: if packet buffer is empty then

3:

go to sleep

4: else

5:

6:

7:

8:

9:

10:

11:

generate uniform random number r in (0 , 1) if r<P DeepSleep then go to sleep and wake up after T DeepSleep after waking up, stay awake and transmit packets until buffer is empty else

stay awake and transmit packets until buffer is empty end if

12: end if

V. P ERFORMANCE E VALUATION

In this section, we evaluate DeepSleep via the NS-2 sim- ulator. We first verify that a low energy level device can use lower CW min value in the backoff procedure to achieve higher energy-efficiency. Second, we show that when DeepSleep is employed in the network, the energy consumption, outage probability and network performance can be significantly improved. Then we show that the 802.11 baseline devices can also benefit from other devices running DeepSleep. Our proposed scheme is verified to support far larger device number in an energy-harvesting M2M network.

A. Simulation Setup

We implemented the energy model in ns-2.34 to conduct the simulations. The energy-harvesting model is a two-state correlated process [15]. For every time slot T EH , the device harvests e EH energy when it is in the on state while no energy

in the off state. In addition, for every T EH , if the device is in on state, it stays in on state with probability q on , with 0 . 5 < q on < 1 , and transits to off state with probability 1 q on . On the other hand, if the device is in off state, it stays in off state with probability q off , with 0 . 5 < q off < 1 , and transits to on state with probability 1 q off . The values of the simulation parameters are presented in Table 2.

TABLE II

S IMULATION PARAMETERS

Parameter

 

Transmitting power Receiving power Overhearing power Idle listening power Sleeping power SIFS DIFS Slot time Phy preamble Bit rate Beacon period

Value 550 mW 250 mW 250 mW 200 mW 40 mW 16 µsec 34 µsec 9 µsec 20 µsec 2 Mbps 1 sec poisson process (λ = 1) 256 bytes 2000 J 0.1 mJ 0.3 mJ 0.3 mJ

Traffic

model

Packet size

Battery capacity

E

0

 

E

th

E

DeepSleep

CW min

32

CW max

1024

CW minOriginal

32

CW DeepSleep

16

n BP

 

3

P DeepSleep

0.5

T DeepSleep

0.5 Beacon period 4 msec 0.3 mJ

T EH

 

e

EH

q

on

0.8

q

off

0.7

Simulation duration

1000 sec

B. High Priority for Low Energy Devices

In this subsection, we verify that high priority for low energy devices can reduce their overhearing and idle listen ing time rate, providing higher energy-efficiency. The network setup is as follows. There is one AP and a number of associated devices. The devices have same uplink UDP traffic model as described in Table 2, and there exists no downlink traffic. We gradually increase the device number so the channel is getting more congested. All devices use 802.11 baseline scheme with CW min = 32 except 10 special devices with CW min = 16 , assuming they are at low energy level. Fig. 1 and 2 show that the idle listening and overhearing time rate a re lower for the 10 devices with lower CW min value. Thus, we trigger the employment of CW DeepSleep in an energy-aware way in High Priority Energy-Aware Sleeping scheme.

C. DeepSleep Performance Evaluation

In this section, the simulation is initially conducted with all devices applying DeepSleep scheme. After that, in the secon d time the simulation is conducted with all devices using 802.11 baseline scheme. Thus we draw a comparison between the performance of DeepSleep and 802.11 baseline.

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x 10 5

x 10 5

3.5 10 devices with CWmin = 16 Other devices with CWmin = 32 3 2.5
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Device Number

Fig. 1. Idle listening of different CW min values.

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Fig. 3. Idle listening of DeepSleep and 802.11.

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Overhearing Rate per Packet Delivered

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Fig. 2. Overhearing of different CW min values.

Fig. 3 shows the average idle listening time rate per packet delivered of all devices, and Fig. 4 shows the average over- hearing listening time rate. It can be verified that the energ y wastage from idle listening and overhearing is significantl y reduced with DeepSleep. Thus using DeepSleep, the outage probability and energy consumption are all improved as show n in Fig. 5 and 6. Note that for DeepSleep, the outage time includes the time duration from the point where Energy-Awar e Sleeping is triggered to the point the device can wake up to transmit packets.

D. Co-existence with 802.11

Now we change the network with half of the devices employed in 802.11 baseline scheme, and the other half in DeepSleep scheme. We refer to such case as a co-existence case, in which we attempt to draw a comparison between the performance of the 802.11 baseline devices in a co-existenc e case and in the case where all devices use 802.11 baseline scheme. As shown in Fig. 7 and 8, the energy consumption and outage probability of 802.11 baseline devices can be amende d when co-existing with DeepSleep devices. Unfortunately in Fig. 7 the energy consumption of 802.11 seems to be degraded when device number is more than 80. This is because when half of the devices switch to DeepSleep, these DeepSleep devices start to obtain significant energy-efficiency and ou tage

Device Number

Fig. 4. Overhearing of DeepSleep and 802.11.

improvement, which in turn allow them to have more channel occupancy. This causes slightly higher application layer loss rate for 802.11, and thus higher energy consumption per packet delivered.

VI. C ONCLUSION

In this paper, we propose an enhancement scheme on IEEE 802.11 PSM, called DeepSleep, which is designed for the M2M network deploying energy-harvesting devices. In

1 DeepSleep 0.9 802.11 baseline 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 20
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Fig. 5. Outage probability of DeepSleep and 802.11.

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0.2 DeepSleep 802.11 baseline 0.18 0.16 0.14 0.12 0.1 0.08 0.06 0.04 20 30 40
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Energy per Packet Delivered

Device Number

Fig. 6. Energy consumption of DeepSleep and 802.11.

0.24 0.22 DeepSleep devices in co − existence case Baseline devices in co − existence
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Fig. 7. Energy consumption of co-existing case and 802.11 case.

802.11 PSM, the devices wake up to transmit uplink data traffic and go to sleep when the traffic buffer is empty. During the backoff process, there is a large energy wastage generated in overhearing and idle listening. Taking advant age of the property from energy harvesting, DeepSleep manages to reduce such energy wastage and channel contention level in order to achieve higher overall energy-efficiency. DeepSleep is an energy-aware scheme that favors the low energy devices by allowing them to have higher priority for channel access. At the same time, these favored devices are forced to sleep for a longer period of time. Moreover, DeepSleep randomly

1 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 DeepSleep devices in co − existence case 0.3
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Fig. 8. Outage probability of co-existing case and 802.11 case.

defers part of the active devices so the channel congestion is significantly alleviated, reducing overhearing and idle listening time to provide higher network reliability. Our simulation results show that DeepSleep is also capable of improving the performance of the co-existing 802.11 baseline devices.

VII. A CKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This work was also supported by National Science Council, National Taiwan University and Intel Corporation under Gra nts NSC 100-2911-I-002-001, and 10R70501.

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