Broadcasting info-pages to sensors: Efficiency versus energy conservation

Yosef Alayev, Amotz Bar-Noy, Tom F.La Porta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In sensor networks applied to monitoring applications, individual sensors may perform preassigned or on-demand tasks, or missions. Data updates (info-pages) may be sent to sensors from a command center, via a timedivision broadcast channel. Sensors are normally put in sleep mode when not actively listening, in order to conserve energy in their batteries. Hence, a schedule is required that specifies when sensors should listen for updates and when they should sleep. The performance of such a schedule is evaluated based on data-related costs and sensor-related costs. Data-related costs reflect the obsoleteness of current sensor data, or the delay while sensors wait for updated instructions. Sensor-related costs reflect the energy that sensors consume while accessing the broadcast channel and while switching between the active and sleeping modes (rebooting). Our goal is a schedule with the minimum total cost. Previous related work has explored data-related costs, but listening cost has been addressed only under the assumption that the rebooting operation is free. This paper formulates a new cost model, which recognizes the cost of sensor rebooting. We derive an optimal schedule for the single-sensor setting. We proceed to consider schedules of multiple sensors; we formulate a mathematical program to find an optimal fractional schedule for this setting and provide a solution to the lower bound. Several heuristics for scheduling multiple sensors are introduced and analyzed, and various tradeoffs among the cost factors are demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1529-1542
Number of pages14
JournalWireless Networks
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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