Energy-efficient pulse-coupled synchronization strategy design for wireless sensor networks through reduced idle listening
Synchronization is crucial to wireless sensor networks due to their decentralized structure. We propose an energy-efficient pulse-coupled synchronization strategy to achieve this goal. The basic idea is to reduce idle listening by intentionally introducing a large refractory period in the sensors' cooperation. The large refractory period greatly reduces idle listening in each oscillation period, and is analytically proven to have no influence on the time to synchronization. Hence, it significantly reduces the total energy consumption in a synchronization process. A topology control approach tailored for pulse-coupled synchronization is given to guarantee a k-edge strongly connected interaction topology, which is tolerant to communication-link failures. The topology control approach is totally decentralized and needs no information exchange among sensors, and it is applicable to dynamic network topologies as well. This facilitates a completely decentralized implementation of the synchronization strategy. The strategy is applicable to mobile sensor networks, too. QualNet case studies confirm the effectiveness of the synchronization strategy.