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Energy Consumption of Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN)

Winter 2012 Eric Lam (

1. Abstract This paper explores the energy consumption of wireless body area networks (WBAN) using the recently drafted IEEE 802.15.6 standard. WBANs have a lot of potential applications but may be severely limited by the energy consumption of the networks. This paper illustrates the major energy consumption problems according to different network topologies. Results suggest that design of WBAN will require localized on surface body nodes to forward information from implanted nodes. 2. Introduction Wireless body sensor networks have gained more attention as scientists continue to explore the potential benefits. There has been a move in the industry, as shown by the Qualcomm sponsored X PRIZE competition, to improve quality of life by enabling people to access information about their own body through technology. The founders of the X PRIZE envision a future where one can instantly diagnose diseases and monitor health metrics such as blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature. Other applications include emergency detection of health vital signs that require sporadic relay of information, patient monitoring in hospitals that require steady but slow flow of information, or evaluation of athletic performance which require fast and accurate data collection [6]. In order to realize commercially viable body sensor networks, sensors would have to be non-invasively small, cheap, and long lasting. To fulfill these requirements would require the power demands of the sensor network to be as small as possible. Given the protocols in the IEEE 802.15.6 standard, this paper will analyze power consumption in different sensor topologies and network requirements. The analysis and simulation will be restricted to looking at power only. The paper is organized as follows. Section one covers the background literature, the second covers the assumptions made in the system model, the third explains the simulation, and the fourth gives a conclusion and a discussion of possible future extensions. 3.1 Background Literature IEEE 802.15.6 MAC There were many different MAC protocols considered for the IEEE 802.15.6 standard [1][2][3][5] that the task group considered. Ultimately, the IEEE 802.15.6 task group settled on three different modes of operation. The first mode is beacon mode with beacon period super frame boundaries. Each period of transmission is called a super frame and is delimited by a beacon signal. The beacon signal is transmitted by the hub and defines the structure of the super frame. Each super frame is further divided into Exclusive Access Phase 1 (EAP1), Random Access Phase 1 (RAP1), Type I/II phase, Exclusive Access Phase 2 (EAP2), Random Access Phase 2 (RAP2), Type I/II phase, and a Contention Access Phase (CAP) [2][4]. EAP1 and EAP2 are used for important transmissions with higher priority or for emergency communication. RAP1, RAP2, and CAP are used for all other traffic. The advantage of this mode is that less energy is wasted on retransmission from contention periods but has a cost in overhead of transmitting schedules. In this mode, the central hub can customize the beacon period to optimize for the specific application. For periodic and predictable data, most of the beacon period should be made for scheduled access whereas applications concerning emergency monitoring should include more time for emergency or unpredictable transmissions. The second mode is non-beacon mode with super frame boundaries. In this mode, the entire super frame is either Type I or Type II access phase. In the third mode, non-beacon mode without super frame boundaries, access is determined by unscheduled type II polling only. In this mode, the network essentially operates in a carrier sense multiple access and collision avoidance (CSMA/CA). This mode has the advantage that no overhead must be done by some central hub and the nodes can dynamically transmit their information. For this project, we will only consider beacon mode with beacon period super frame boundaries as the MAC layer specification. Unlike ad hoc or distributed sensor networks, the nodes in a wireless body area sensor networks are deterministic and static. Because of the structured nature of WBAN sensor networks, routing is pre-determined and optimized for the application. Specifically, this paper looks at single hop routing directly to the central node and multi-hop routing to surface nodes first. Although IEEE 802.15.6 allows flexibility with its different modes, most transmissions and applications will use beacon mode with beacon period super frame boundaries because of the stable property of WBAN networks. 3.2 Background Literature IEEE 802.15.6 PHY

The physical layer as proposed in the IEEE 802.15.6 specifies different frequencies for communication between different nodes. The first is Narrowband PHY (NB), which occupies the 402-405 MHz range and primarily corresponds with communication with any devices that are implanted into the body. These can be nodes directly under the skin or deep within the body [2][4]. The second is Ultra Wideband (UWB), which operates at 2.4 GHz and in the 3.1-10.6 GHz frequency band. UWB is used primarily to communicate between the body surfaces to any external device but also may be used to communicate to nodes within the body. The third category is Human Body Communications (HBC). HBC operates at the 13.5, 400, 600, and 900 MHz frequencies as well as the 5-50 MHz frequency band [2][4]. HBC mode is primarily used to communicate between nodes on the body surface but also may be used to communicate to external devices. 4. System Model and Simulation Assumptions The amount of power consumed by a sensor network depends on many variables. First off, the MAC layer specification will greatly affect the power consumption of a sensor network. For this paper, only beacon mode with super frame boundaries is considered because of its ability to avoid collision. This assumption is reasonable since wireless sensor networks will be for the most part static and the MAC layer scheduling can be made beforehand. Because of this property, the interaction between nodes will be minimal unless a node is forwarding information. Nodes will not interfere with each other during their allotted time slots. Another important consideration is routing. There are many ways a sensor network can determine routing, such as dynamic proactive or reactive routing. In this paper, routes are not made dynamically by the network, but are instead determined by the central hub. Again, this is also a reasonable assumption since body sensor networks are application specific, contain a limited amount of nodes and routes can easily be programmed before deployment on a body. Both single hop routing and multi hop routing are considered. Minimum received power depends on the acceptable bit error rate, coding scheme, modulation, and data rate. As in [2][4], this paper will use a minimum received power range between 95!"# and 86!"# to achieve data rates between 121.4 !"#$/! to 971.4 !"#$/! [4]. To simplify comparisons, all nodes are transmitting at the same rate. Simulation results would change greatly with different minimum power received and their associated data rates. In order to achieve a minimum received power, the transmitter must send at an appropriate power in order to overcome the effects of pathloss, shadowing, and fading. Propagation of electromagnetic waves through and around the body is much different than traditional propagation models. Therefore models designed and experimented specifically for

the body [7] are used for this simulation. The models take into account the different types of mediums that the electromagnetic waves will be travelling through and shadowing. Fast fading is not reflected by the following model but should be incorporated into future analyses of energy consumption in WBAN. Shadowing can be attributed to the changing environments around the body and body movement. The models that follow consider both stationary and moving bodies [7]. The pathloss transmission depends on the type of sensor and its location on the body. For implant-to-implant nodes, the path loss is the following [7]. !" ! = !" !! + 10!"#$ ! +! !!

Where !~!(0, !! ) and !! = 50!!. !"(!! ), !, and !! are all specified in [7] for deep tissue and near surface implants. Implant to body surface communication can also be described by the above equation but with slightly different parameters. Body surface to body surface path loss can be described by the following equation [7]. !" ! = ! log!" ! + ! + ! Where !~!(0, !! ) and !, and ! are coefficients of linear fitting. Depending on the choice of frequency (400 MHz, 600 MHz, 900 MHZ, 2.4 GHz, or 3.1-10.6 GHz), the coefficients will change. Paper [7] also provides channel models for body surface nodes to external nodes. Pathloss for implant nodes and body surface nodes are given in Fig. 1. and Fig. 2.

Figure 1. This plot demonstrates some of the differences in pathloss according to the model found in [8].

assumptions and system model discussed in section 4. The first simulation compares the energy consumption of CSI at the transmitter of an implanted deep tissue node communicating with a central hub located on the body surface. Fig. 3 illustrates the differences between CSI with delay, CSI without delay, and No CSI with delay. CSI without delay means each transmission is made to overcome the pathloss with the exact transmit power. No CSI with delay at a fixed transmit power of 30!"# means each transmission was retransmitted until the received power was above the minimum. CSI with delay is the situation where the transmitter waits until the channel is good enough and transmits at the minimum transmit power required to achieve the minimum receive power. Fig. 4 illustrates the number of retransmissions required by the No CSI with delay scenario and quantifies the number of time slots delayed for the CSI with delay scenario.
Figure 2. Different modes and frequencies will affect the pathloss models

The amount of power consumed can be summarized in the following equation from [8]. !!" = !!"# + !!!!"#$ !""#$%!!" Where !!" is the energy spent for on packet, !!"# is the energy of transmission and !!!!"#$ is the cost of channel detection. This equation assumes no beacon mode in the WBAN protocol. In WBAN model !!"# will have a dependence on the channel path loss model. With beacon mode, there is no cost of channel detection, but there is a cost of listening, which we call !!"!!"#$ . Thus, under beacon mode, the energy consumed per packet is the following. !!" = !!"# + !!"!!"#$ In the system model, we also assume the network topology is static. Although the human body may be moving, the network paths will remain constant. This will greatly simplify the model since a nodes neighbors will not be changing. First, the paper considers a simple two-node network to discern the affects of channel state information (CSI) at the transmitter versus a fixed transmission power. The second topology is a star network consisting of four sensor nodes and one central hub. The third scenario under consideration is a deep network where nodes forward information until it has reached the central hub. The fourth scenario will compare single-hop and multi-hop routing. Various topologies will have an impact on the energy consumption of the nodes. 5. Simulation Results All simulations were performed in MATLAB with 200 symbols sent. Energy was calculated based on the
Figure 4. This figure pertains to CSI with delay and No CSI with delay scenarios Figure 3. Comparison of the energy consumption and CSI

The second simulation compares the energy consumption of the different types of nodes to a central hub in a star network topology Fig. 5. Node 1 is a deep tissue sensor, node 2 is an implanted node near the body surface, node 3 is an on-body sensor using UWB, and node 4 is an on-body sensor using the 900MHz frequency. A summary of distances and minimum power received is in table 1. In this scenario, the nodes use perfect CSI with delay and retransmissions. Fig. 6 illustrates the retransmission rate of the different nodes.

The third simulation looks at a long network chain where node ! forwards its message to node ! + 1 until the information has reached the central hub. Experimental parameters are summarized in table 2 while results are shown in Fig. 7 and Fig. 8.

Figure 7. In a deep relay network, the implanted node that communicates with the surface suffers the most

Figure 5. In a star network topology, the implanted nodes consume the most energy

Figure 8. The implanted node that communicates with the body surface node has the greatest number of retransmissions. Node 2 has significantly more retransmission than node 1

Figure 6. The two implanted nodes have the greatest incidence of retransmissions and delay and are approximately the same

Node 1 2 3 4

!"!"# -95 -95 -95 -95

Node 1 2 3 4

!"!"# -95 -95 -95 -95

Distance (mm) 55 55 65 75

Type Implant - Deep Implant Surface Body Surface - UWB Body Surface 900MHz

Distance to next node (mm) 55 55 65 75

Type Implant - Deep Implant Surface Body Surface 900MHz Body Surface 900MHz

Table 1. Summary of assumptions in star network topology simulation

Table 2. Summary of assumptions in deep network topology simulation

In the last experiment, this paper compares the performance of an implanted node communicating directly with the central hub versus an implanted node communicating with a local on body surface hub that relays the information to the central hub. Node 1 connects directly to the central hub whereas node 2 relays its information through node 3, which is a closer on-surface body node. Simulation parameters are specified in table 3. Fig 9 shows that about a 63% reduction in energy can be achieved by multi-hop routing to nearby onbody surface nodes. Fig. 10 shows delay can also be greatly reduced by using multi-hop routing.

6. Conclusion Channel state information at the transmitter can help reduce energy consumption and delay. However, the simulations did not account for overhead such as the feedback loop or added circuit energy costs. With the inclusion of these unaccounted energy costs, the benefits of channels state information may not outweigh its cost. In the star topology, it was clear that deep tissue implanted nodes would consume the most energy and from the deep network topology, it was clear that implanted relay nodes would have significant energy degradation. In the single-hop and multi-hop network, the single-hop network consumed significantly more energy. The results suggest that in order to extend the life of nodes inside the body, the implanted nodes should relay information to a nearby on-body surface node. Although it would require more sensor nodes and cost more in circuit energy, the on-body surface nodes can more easily be recharged or replaced than implanted nodes that would require surgery. 7. Future work In order to better understand the energy consumption in the network, the overhead associated with using beacon mode with super frame boundaries should be included. Another source of energy consumption would be circuit energy. Future work could include looking into different data rates and including fast fading. 8. References
[1] Ullah S., Shen B., Riazul Islam S., Khan P., Saleem S., Sup Kwak K. A Study of MAC Protocols for WBANs. Sensors. 2010; 10(1):128-145. [2] Kwak, K.S.; Ullah, S.; Ullah, N.; , "An overview of IEEE 802.15.6 standard," Applied Sciences in Biomedical and Communication Technologies (ISABEL), 2010 3rd International Symposium on , vol., no., pp.1-6, 7-10 Nov. 2010 doi: 10.1109/ISABEL.2010.5702867 URL: number=5702759 [3] Bradai, N.; Belhaj, S.; Chaari, L.; Kamoun, L.; , "Study of medium access mechanisms under IEEE 802.15.6 standard," Wireless and Mobile Networking Conference (WMNC), 2011 4th Joint IFIP , vol., no., pp.1-6, 26-28 Oct. 2011 doi: 10.1109/WMNC.2011.6097231 URL: number=6097204 [4] Martelli, Flavia; Buratti, Chiara; Verdone, Roberto; , "On the performance of an IEEE 802.15.6 Wireless Body Area Network," Wireless Conference 2011 - Sustainable Wireless Technologies (European Wireless), 11th European , vol., no., pp.1-6, 27-29 April 2011 URL: number=5897969 [5] Demirkol, I.; Ersoy, C.; Alagoz, F.; , "MAC protocols for wireless sensor networks: a survey," Communications Magazine, IEEE , vol.44, no.4, pp. 115- 121, April 2006 doi: 10.1109/MCOM.2006.1632658 URL: number=34236

Figure 9. Node 1 uses single hop routing whereas node 2 uses multi-hop routing to a nearby node

Figure 10. Routing to closer nodes can reduce number of retransmissions

Node 1 2 3

!"!"# -95 -95 -95

Distance to next node (mm) 150 50 200

Type Implant - Deep Implant Deep Body Surface 900MHz

Table 3. Summary of assumptions in single-hop routing vs multi-hop routing

[6] Patel, M.; Jianfeng Wang; , "Applications, challenges, and prospective in emerging body area networking technologies," Wireless Communications, IEEE , vol.17, no.1, pp.80-88, February 2010 doi: 10.1109/MWC.2010.5416354 URL: number=5416337 [7] (2010, Sep.) Channel model for body area network. [Online]. Available: [8] ShihHeng Cheng; ChingYao Huang; , "Power model for wireless body area network," Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference, 2008. BioCAS 2008. IEEE , vol., no., pp.1-4, 20-22 Nov. 2008 doi: 10.1109/BIOCAS.2008.4696859 URL: number=4696849