Section: Research Program

Energy-Efficiency and Determinism

Reducing the energy consumption of low-power wireless devices remains a challenging task. The overall energy budget of a system can be reduced by using less power-hungry chips, and significant research is being done in that direction. That being said, power consumption is mostly influenced by the algorithms and protocols used in low-power wireless devices, since they influence the duty-cycle of the radio.

EVA will search for energy-efficient mechanisms in low-power wireless networks. One new requirement concerns the ability to predict energy consumption with a high degree of accuracy. Scheduled communication, such as the one used in the IEEE 802.15.4 TSCH (Time Slotted CHannel Hopping) standard, and by IETF 6TiSCH, allows for a very accurate prediction of the energy consumption of a chip. Power conservation will be a key issue in EVA.

To tackle this issue and match link-layer resources to application needs, EVA's 5-year research program around Energy-Efficiency and Determinism centers around 3 studies:

  • Performance Bounds of a TSCH network. We propose to study a low-power wireless TSCH network as a Networked Control System (NCS), and use results from the NCS literature. A large number of publications on NCS, although dealing with wireless systems, consider wireless links to have perfect reliability, and do not consider packet loss. Results from these papers can not therefore be applied directly to TSCH networks. Instead of following a purely mathematical approach to model the network, we propose to use a non-conventional approach and build an empirical model of a TSCH network.

  • Distributed Scheduling in TSCH networks. Distributed scheduling is attractive due to its scalability and reactivity, but might result in a sub-optimal schedule. We continue this research by designing a distributed solution based on control theory, and verify how this solution can satisfy service level agreements in a dynamic environment.