PulseSS: A Pulse-Coupled Synchronization and Scheduling Protocol for Clustered Wireless Sensor Networks

Gentz, R., Scaglione, A., Ferrari, L., Hong, Y.W.P.


IEEE Internet of Things Journal, Volume: 3, Issue: 6, Dec. 2016, pp. 1222 - 1234.


The Pulse-coupled Synchronization and Scheduling (PulseSS) protocol is proposed in this work for simultaneous synchronization and scheduling of communication activities in clustered wireless sensor networks (WSNs), by emulating the emergent behavior of pulse-coupled oscillator (PCO) networks in mathematical biology. Different from existing works that address synchronization and scheduling (i.e., desynchronization) separately, PulseSS provides a coordination signaling mechanism that achieves decentralized network synchronization and time division multiple access scheduling simultaneously at different time scales for clustered WSNs. Here, we assume that the nodes are connected only locally via their respective cluster heads. Moreover, PulseSS addresses the issue of propagation delays, that may plague the accuracy of PCO synchronization in practice, by providing ways to estimate and precompensate for these values locally at the sensors (i.e., PCOs). At the same time the protocol retains the adaptivity and light-weight nature of PCO protocols both in terms of signaling and computations. Simulations of both the physical and the medium access control layers show a synchronization accuracy of factions of microseconds above 15dB of SINR for a 5 cluster network. A hardware implementation of PulseSS using TinyOS is also provided to corroborate the real world applicability of our protocol.

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