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Intelligent Network Synchronization for Energy Saving in Low Duty Cycle MAC Protocols

Pranesh Sthapit and Jae-Young Pyun Department of Information and Communication Engineering Chosun University, Gwangju, Korea pranesh@stmail.chosun.ac.kr, jypyun@chosun.ac.kr

Abstract
Several MAC protocols such as S-MAC, T-MAC, DSMAC, and TEEM have exploited scheduled sleep/listen cycles to conserve energy in sensor networks. These protocols use periodic SYNC packet in their SYNC period to follow the same schedule with their neighbors. We have found that these protocols use around 40% of their listen period for SYNC period. In an average, unused SYNC periods consume more than 20% of the total energy consumption. In this paper, we analyze the periodic nature of SYNC packet and develop a new algorithm, named as intelligent network synchronization (INS), which exploits the periodic nature of SYNC packet to reduce energy consumption. The proposed INS makes nodes bypass their own SYNC period by monitoring sleep/listen cycles of their each neighbor. We evaluate INS through both mathematical analysis and simulation. These results show the achievement of up to 25% of energy saving.

1. Introduction
A wireless sensor network (WSN) is a self-organizing wireless network consisting of spatially distributed autonomous devices using sensors to cooperatively monitor physical or environmental conditions at different locations with less or no mobility. Typically, these nodes coordinate to perform a common task. These small and inexpensive devices are self-contained units consisting of a battery, radio front end, sensors, and a minimal amount of on-board computing power. Once deployed, changing batteries become difcult or even impossible, thus sensor nodes must be energy efcient [1][2][3][4]. The radio occupies the largest share of the energy consumption in most of the sensor nodes [6]. The MAC protocols of WSN save energy by putting the nodes into sleep
corresponding

mode, i.e., turning the radio off as long as possible. The most well-known Sensor-MAC (S-MAC) protocol is one of them [1]. It reduces energy consumption by using a coordinated sleeping mechanism, similar to the power saving mechanism of IEEE 802.11 [7]. There are some other MAC protocols having same working principle of S-MAC and have certain advancements in each, i.e. TMAC, DSMAC and TEEM [2][3][4]. For simplicity, we called these protocols collectively as S-MAC family. The S-MAC family uses contention-based random access method with a periodic sleep/listen cycle. The sensor nodes cant communicate during the sleep mode. Therefore, these protocols locally manage synchronization and the synchronized schedule can be controlled by periodic SYNC packet broadcasted to their neighbors. These protocols have separate parts for data and SYNC packets in their listen period. RTS and CTS packets are exchanged before sending data packets. The major sources of energy wasted in WSN are collision, overhearing, control packet overhead, and idle listening [1]. Some different methods and techniques have been employed by each protocol to mitigate these energy wasting attributes. But, most of the works have been done on the data period and the SYNC period remains active in all. That is, the potential reduction at SYNC period has been still unexplored. Hence, we propose intelligent network synchronization (INS), which lets the node bypass their SYNC period by exploiting the periodic nature of SYNC packet. INS allows the nodes to be in sleep state in their SYNC period when they recognize that nobody has SYNC packet queued in the current SYNC period. For performance evaluation, we have implemented our idea in S-MAC and TEEM and compared it with the original protocols.

2. Related work
This section gives the overview of S-MAC and TEEM, since we have implemented INS in these protocols. We have found that among other S-MAC family protocols, these two

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978-1-4244-4439-7/09/$25.00 c 2009 IEEE

Cycle Listen period


SYNC RTS CTS CTS Got DATA ACK

Cycle

Sleep period

Listen period
SYNC data SYNC nodata Got DATA

Sleep period

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CTS

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Node 1

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DATA

Got ACK

Sleep

Other nodes Got SYNC Got RTS

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Sleep

Time

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Figure 1. Sleep/listen cycle of S-MAC. protocols have considerably different techniques for network synchronization. Therefore, we choose these two protocols on behalf of all S-MAC family protocols.

Figure 2. Sleep/listen cycle of TEEM. cessful exchange of RTS/CTS packets between two nodes implies that they should stay awake in the whole sleep period for the completion of their data communication. Again, all other nodes that are not involved in data communication can enter a sleep mode. Figure 1 shows the data communication between node 0 and node 1 in S-MAC. S-MAC has a xed timing period for listen and sleep period. The problem is that, even when nodes have no data or SYNC packet to send during some time frame, every node still has to be awake in listen time wasting their energies.

2.1. S-MAC overview


S-MAC is a contention-based random access protocol with a xed sleep/listen cycle [1]. It uses a coordinated sleeping mechanism, similar to the power saving mechanism of IEEE 802.11 [7]. A time frame in S-MAC is divided into two parts: a listen period and a sleep period as shown in Figure 1. Sensor nodes are able to communicate with other nodes only in this listen period. Therefore, all neighboring nodes must be synchronized together. Each S-MAC node periodically exchanges its schedule by broadcasting a SYNC packet to its neighbors. The period of sending a SYNC packet is called synchronization period [5]. S-MAC nodes maintain a table, called neighbor list table (shown in Table 1), to record the scheduling information of all its known neighbors [5]. Sensor nodes also periodically perform periodic neighbor discovery in which nodes listen for a whole synchronization period. Nodes never go to sleep during the entire neighbor discovery period; so that the node can listen for longer time than usual and have more chance to hear new or missing neighbors. Every new node performs periodic neighbor discovery before joining the network. In S-MAC, RTS and CTS control packets are used for data communication similar to IEEE 802.11. The suc-

2.2. TEEM overview


Unlike S-MAC, in TEEM [4], the listen period consists of only two parts, SYNCdata and SYNCnodata , and the time interval of the listen period is also shorter compared to SMAC as shown in Figure 2. The SYNCdata contains data packets, whereas the SYNCnodata contains SYNC packets. Both packets are used for synchronization. Instead of using a separate RTS and SYNC, TEEM combines the RTS packet with a SYNC packet and sends it in SYNCdata period. This combined packet is called SYNCrts . Nodes having data will contend for medium in SYNCdata period. If there is no communication in this period, then only nodes having SYNC packet contend for medium in the SYNCnodata period and the winner sends the SYNC packet. Since the data trafc is transferred in the rst period of listen time, nodes which are not involved in current communication can go to sleep immediately. Furthermore, nodes which are involved in communication can go to sleep as soon as communication between them is over as depicted in Figure 2. These procedures make TEEMs listen period adaptive and much more energy efcient than S-MAC.

Table 1. Field denition of neighbor list table of S-MAC


Field nodeId schedId active state Comment ID of this node Schedule ID in schedule table that this node follows Flag indicating this node is active recently Flag indicating the node has changed schedule

3. Motivation of our work


The S-MAC family protocols deal with data and SYNC trafc on the sleep/listen cycle. Data trafc depends on the

sensing of some unusual environmental conditions which is occasional. But, the SYNC packet is sent periodically with some considerable amount of gap. This periodic SYNC transmission state is the most dominant state in a typical WSN. In S-MAC family protocols, even though nodes have received SYNC packets from all its neighbors and there will be no more SYNC packets in current synchronization period, these nodes still waste their energy in idle listening in their SYNC period. Such an inefciency is caused mainly by the fact that S-MAC family protocols dont consider the periodic nature of SYNC packet. This will be more clear with an example. Let us suppose that there is a cluster of 4 nodes sending SYNC packets with interval of 10 cycles. Only the SYNC periods of 4 cycles are used to exchange the SYNC packets, whereas 6 cycles remain in idle listening. This idle listening for 6 cycles in SYNC period happens every synchronization period. This observation leads us to propose a new energy saving technique, INS, which allows the nodes to be in sleep state in the SYNC period when they recognize that nobody has SYNC packet queued in the current SYNC period. The rest of this paper is organized as follows. Section 4 shows the INS design, followed by a brief analysis on the energy performance of INS in Section 5. Section 6 demonstrates the energy efciency achieved by INS through numerical and simulations results. Finally, we conclude the paper in Section 7.

4. Design of proposed intelligent network synchronization


This section describes the design of new algorithm, INS. Although INS can apply to all sleep/wakeup-based MACs, we describe the details in our implementation based on SMAC which is well-known MAC for WSN.

4.1. Intelligent network synchronization


In order to minimize energy consumption, INS exploits the periodic nature of SYNC packets. In S-MAC, nodes

maintain the list of all their neighbors in the neighbor list table. Now, by adding one more eld in this neighbor list table, nodes can be intelligent enough to make decision of either to sleep or wake up in the current SYNC period. Table 2 shows neighbor list table including a newly added eld counter. Let us see this with an example. Let X be a node in the network. Node X has separate counter for each neighbor. Each counter is increased by one at each cycle time. However, the counter is reset to zero when the node X receives the SYNC packet from the corresponding neighbor. That is, the counter is used to calculate the number of cycles elapsed since the last SYNC packet received for each neighbor. Now the node X can realize whether it will receive the SYNC packet in the current SYNC period or not by examining these counters. If the node X nds that any counters value is equal or greater than synchronization period, then the node X knows it will get a SYNC packet now. Thus, it will wake up in current SYNC period or it will go to sleep in the other case. The more detailed description of this algorithm has been given in the Table 3. This algorithm is executed at the beginning of every SYNC period of a node. Note that INS preserves periodic neighbor discovery as shown in Table 3. Therefore, INS will have no negative impact on the exibility and scalability of S-MAC. The difference in S-MAC protocol with and without INS in a cluster of two nodes is shown in Figure 3. As shown in the Figure 3(b), nodes with INS do not wake up in SYNC period after successful exchange of SYNC packets until the next synchronization period. This gure clearly shows that INS saves considerable amount of energy when implemented in any S-MAC family protocols. Note that the data period is left untouched in this new protocol. INS has no concern with data period and energy conservation is achieve by managing the SYNC period only. Therefore, INS does not effect any performance metrics of host protocol. Hence, the proposed INS can be adopted to all of the S-MAC family protocols for the advanced energy conservation.

Table 3. Algorithm for INS


Algorithm handleCounterTimer Let X be a node Increment the counter value of all neighbors of X by 1 if ((in periodic neighbor discovery) (counter for any neighbor in X >= synchronization period)) then X is expecting the SYNC packet, and wakes up in SYNC period else X will not get SYNC packet in this SYNC period, thus sleeps end if Note:The counter for particular neighbor is reset to 0 every time SYNC packet is received from that node

Table 2. Field denition of neighbor list table of proposed INS


Field nodeId schedId active state counter Comment ID of this node Schedule ID in schedule table that this node follows Flag indicating this node is active recently Flag indicating the node has changed schedule Counts the cycles since last SYNC received from this node

SYNC Period DATA Period Node 0 Send SYNC Send SYNC .... Send SYNC Send SYNC

Node 1

After 10 cycles ....

Synchronization period (10 cycles)


(a) Original S-MAC
.... Send SYNC Node 1 Send SYNC Send SYNC Send SYNC

Node 0

After 10 cycles ....

Synchronization period (10 cycles)


(b) S-MAC with INS

Figure 3. Exchange of SYNC packets between two nodes in S-MAC and S-MAC with INS.

5. Energy analysis
In this section, we analyze the energy saving with INS. For the analysis, we take only the SYNC period into consideration and show the consumed energy with and without INS. For wireless sensor network applications, the energy is consumed by receiving, transmitting, listening for messages on the radio channel, and sleeping. Therefore, the total energy consumed, E, is given by E = Ereceive + Etransmit + Eidle listening + Esleep . (1) In the proposed INS, we are concerned with SYNC period only. Let us suppose that we have a cluster of N nodes having synchronization period of P. Let Erx and Etx be the energy consumed to receive and transmit the SYNC packet. Let Eidle be the energy consumed per idle listening in a SYNC period. Then the energy consumed by the SYNC periods per synchronization period is given by Esync period = (N 1)Erx + Etx + XEidle , where X= P N 0 if N < P elsewhere . (2)

synchronization period. Now, INS is applied to this protocol, then the unnecessary idle listening is removed in a SYNC period as shown in equation (3). That is, the pervious idle listening is now changed to sleeping. Esync period = (N 1)Erx + Etx . (3)

Since the sleep energy is negligible as compared to listening, for simplicity, we omit the energy consumed by the sleep mode in this equation. Comparison of equation (2) and (3) clearly demonstrates the energy saving introduced by INS.

6. Performance evaluation
For the performance evaluation, we implement INS in S-MAC and TEEM and compared with original protocols. INS is simulated and evaluated on NS-2.32 [8]. In our simulation model, we used the topology that has a xed 250m distance between each node. The transmission range is of 250m. For both the protocols, the simulated nodes are congured using the parameters listed in Table 4. Also, the synchronization period is 10 cycles and the duty cycle is 10%. In all the simulations, nodes use NOAH static ad-hoc routing protocol [9]. In our rst set of simulation, we took a liner topology of 5 nodes (4 hops) with rst node as source and last node acting as sink. Our proposed INS has an energy efciency feature by managing SYNC period which is regardless of

This is because, in a cluster of N nodes, each node will receive N -1 SYNC packets, and transmit its own SYNC packet once, thus stay idle listening during rest of the the

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Figure 4. Average energy consumed by a node in the absence of data trafc in S-MAC in linear topology.

Figure 5. Average energy consumed by a node in the absence of data trafc in linear topology.

data trafc. Thus, this simulation demonstrates the energy efciency of INS under absence of data trafc as shown in Figure 4 and 5. Here, nodes exchange SYNC packets only. Specically, Figure 4 shows the analytical result for S-MAC with INS. Table 4 lists the parameters used in the analysis. The sleep power and the transition power have not been considered in numerical calculation. The graphs in Figure 4 show the simulation and analytical results are in good agreement. The simulation output of INS implemented in S-MAC and TEEM is shown in Figure 5. When INS is implemented in both protocols, INS saved signicant amount of energy. The results show that INS reduced the energy consumption of S-MAC by 25% and TEEM by 23% when simulation was run for 2100 secs. The energy efciency of INS in presence of data trafc under the above liner topology is shown in the Figure 6. The source node generates total of 50 messages with 100 bytes to be transferred to sink node. Data ows pass through from source to sink via the intermediate nodes and simula-

Table 4. Parameters for NS-2 simulation. Channel bandwidth 20 kbps SYNC period (S-MAC) 55ms SYNC period (TEEM) 53ms Data period (S-MAC) 88ms Data period (TEEM) 85ms Synchronization period 10 cycles Reception power 14mW Transmission power 36mW Idle power 14mW Sleep power 15W Transition power 28mW

tion ends with the transfer of the last packet. The message inter-arrival period is varied in order to measure energy consumption in different trafc loads. In our experiment, the message inter-arrival period varies from 9 to 24 secs. The average energy consumed by a node under variable trafc loads is shown in the Figure 6. The experimental result shows that INS reduced the energy consumption of S-MAC by 13% when message inter-arrival period was of 9 secs. However, INS reduced the energy consumption of S-MAC by more than 15% when the message inter-arrival period was 24 secs. In the case of TEEM, there was saving of 14% and 17% under message inter-arrival period of 9 and 24 secs respectively. In our second set of simulation, we took grid topology of 15 nodes arranged in 3 rows with 5 nodes in each row. Each nodes are at the distance of 250m from each other. The rst and the last nodes of the second row are source and sink. The other nodes, between source and sink nodes in the second row, act as intermediate relay nodes and forward the data to sink node. In this set of simulation also source node generates total of 50 messages with 100 bytes to be transferred to sink node. Figure 7 shows the average energy consumed by nodes which are evolved in data transmission i.e., average energy consumed by nodes in the second row. The experimental result shows that INS reduced the energy consumption of S-MAC by 8% and 10%, when the message inter-arrival periods were of 9 and 24 secs respectively . In the case of TEEM, there were saving of 10% and 13%, under message inter-arrival periods of 9 and 24 secs respectively. The simulation result shows that the amount of energy saved decrease with increase in node density. The energy saving in this set of simulation is less as compared to linear topology, the considerable amount of

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Figure 6. Average energy consumed by a node in the presence of data trafc in linear topology.

Figure 7. Average energy consumed by a node in the presence of data trafc in grid topology.

energy was saved with INS. Therefore, we can derive from above simulations that on the real time scenario, where data are sensed at considerable amount of gap, large amount of energy can be saved with the implementation of INS.

[2] T. van Dam, K. Langendoen, An Adaptive Energy Efcient MAC Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks, Proc. of ACM SynSys 03, Los Angeles, California, USA, Nov. 2003. [3] P. Lin, C. Qiao, and X. Wang Medium Access Control With A Dynamic Duty Cycle For Sensor Networks, WCNC, Mar. 2004. [4] Changsu Suh and Young-Bae Ko,A Trafc Aware, Energy Efcient MAC Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks, Proc. of the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS05), May. 2005. [5] F. Chen , Simulation of Wireless Sensor Nodes Using S-MAC, Masters thesis, University of ErlangenNuremberg, 2005. [6] Y. Li, W. Ye, and J. Heidemann, Energy and latency control in low duty cycle MAC protocols, USC/ISI Technical Report ISI-TR-595, Aug. 2004. [7] LAN MAN Standards Committee of the IEEE Computer Society, Wireless LAN medium access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specication, IEEE, New York, NY, USA, IEEE Std 802.11-1997 edition, 1997. [8] NS-2 website, http://www.isi.edu/nsnam/ns/.

7. Conclusion
In this paper, we proposed a new generalized energy saving technique, INS, which can be implemented in all SMAC family protocols. Our scheme increases the energy efciency by making nodes go to the sleep state in their unused SYNC periods. This energy efciency is obtained by maintaining SYNC information of all the neighbors. To verify INS, we implemented our scheme in S-MAC and TEEM and simulated it in NS-2. Our experimental results demonstrated that our scheme works well and saves signicant amount of energy.

Acknowledgment
The authors would like to thank Changsu Suh, one of the authors of TEEM protocol, for supporting us with TEEM implementation.

References
[1] Wei Ye, John Heidemann, and Deborah Estrin, Medium Access Control With Coordinated Adaptive Sleeping for Wireless Sensor Networks, IEEE/ACM Transactions On Networking, Jun. 2004.

[9] The NO Ad-Hoc Routing Agent (NOAH) website, http://icapeople.ep.ch/widmer/uwb/ns-2/noah/.