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Cross-Layer Design of an Energy-Efficient Cluster Formation Algorithm with Carrier-Sensing Multiple Access for Wireless Sensor Networks

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A new energy-efficient scheme for data transmission in a wireless sensor network (WSN) is proposed, having in mind a typical application including a sink, which periodically triggers the WSN, and nodes uniformly distributed over a specified area. Routing, multiple access control (MAC), physical, energy, and propagation aspects are jointly taken into account through simulation; however, the protocol design is based on some analytical considerations reported in the appendix. Information routing is based on a clustered self-organized structure; a carrier-sensing multiple access (CSMA) protocol is chosen at MAC layer. Two different scenarios are examined, characterized by different channel fading rates. Four versions of our protocol are presented, suitably oriented to the two different scenarios; two of them implement a cross-layer (CL) approach, where MAC parameters influence both the network and physical layers. Performance is measured in terms of network lifetime (related to energy efficiency) and packet loss rate (related to network availability). The paper discusses the rationale behind the selection of MAC protocols for WSNs and provides a complete model characterization spanning from the network layer to the propagation channel. The advantages of the CL approach, with respect to an algorithm which belongs to the well-known class of low-energy adaptive clustering hierarchy (LEACH) protocols, are shown.

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Correspondence to Chiara Buratti.

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  • wireless sensor networks
  • routing algorithms
  • MAC protocols
  • energy savings strategies
  • cross-layer design