Energy efficient distributed receiver based cooperative medium access control protocol for wireless sensor networks.
Wireless sensor networks are battery operated computing and sensing devices that collaborate to achieve a common goal for a specific application. They are formed by a cluster of sensor nodes where each sensor node is composed of a single chip with embedded memory (microprocessor), a transceiver for transmission and reception (resulting in the most energy consumption), a sensor device for event detection and a power source to keep the node alive. Due to the environmental nature of their application, it is not feasible to change or charge the power source once a sensor node is deployed. The main design objective in WSNs (Wireless Sensor Networks) is to define effective and efficient strategies to conserve energy for the nodes in the network. With regard to the transceiver, the highest consumer of energy in a sensor node, the factors contributing to energy consumption in wireless sensor networks include idle listening, where nodes keep listening on the channel with no data to receive; ovehearing, where nodes hears or intercept data that is meant for a different node; and collision, which occurs at the sink node when it receives data from different nodes at the same time. These factors all arise during transmission or reception of data in the Transceiver module in wireless sensor networks. A MAC (Medium Access Control) protocol is one of the techniques that enables successful operation while minimizing the energy consumption in the network. Its task is to avoid collision, reduce overhearing and to reduce idle listening by properly managing the state of each node in the network. The aim, when designing a MAC protocol for WSNs is to achieve a balance amongst minimum energy consumption, minimum latency, maximum fault-tolerance and providing QoS (Quality of Service). To carefully achieve this balance, this dissertation has proposed, designed, simulated and analyzed a new cooperative MAC scheme with an overhearing avoidance technique with the aim of minimizing energy consumption by attempting to minimize the overhearing in the WSN. The new MAC protocol for WSNs supports the cooperative diversity and overhearing communications in order to reduce the effects of energy consumption thus increase the network lifetime, providing improved communication reliability and further mitigating the effects of multipath fading in WSNs. The MAC scheme in this work focuses on cooperation with overhearing avoidance and reducing transmissions in case of link failures in order to minimize energy consumption. The cooperative MAC scheme presented herein uses the standard IEEE 802.15.4 scheme as its base physical model. It introduces cooperation, overhearing avoidance, receiver based relay node selection and a Markov-based channel state estimation. The performance analysis of the developed Energy Efficient Distributed Receiver based MAC (E2DRCMAC) protocol for WSNs shows an improvement from the standard IEEE 802.15.4 MAC layer with regard to the energy consumption, throughput, reliability of message delivery, bit error rates, system capacity, packet delay, packet error rates, and packet delivery ratios.