Clustering and power management for virtual MIMO communications in wireless sensor networks

Marwan Krunz, Mohammad Z. Siam, Diep N. Nguyen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Multi-input multi-output (MIMO) is a well-established technique for increasing the link throughput, extending the transmission range, and/or reducing energy consumption. In the context of wireless sensor networks (WSNs), even if each node is equipped with a single antenna, it is possible to group several nodes to form a virtual antenna array, which can act as the transmitting or receiving end of a virtual MIMO (VMIMO) link. In this paper, we propose energy-efficient clustering and power management schemes for virtual MIMO operation in a multi-hop WSN. Our schemes are integrated into a comprehensive protocol, called cooperative MIMO (CMIMO), which involves clustering the WSN into several clusters, each managed by up to two cluster heads (CHs); a master CH (MCH) and a slave CH (SCH). The MCH and SCH collect data from their cluster members during the intra-cluster communications phase and communicate these data to neighboring MCHs/SCHs via an inter-cluster VMIMO link. CMIMO achieves energy efficiency by proper selection of the MCHs and SCHs, adaptation of the antenna elements and powers in the inter-cluster communications phase, and using a cross-layer MIMO-aware route selection algorithm for multi-hop operation. We formally establish the conditions on the transmission powers of CHs and non-CHs that ensure the connectivity of the inter-cluster topology. Simulations are used to study the performance of CMIMO. The simulation results indicate that our proposed protocol achieves significant reduction in energy consumption and longer network life time, compared with non-adaptive clustered WSNs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1571-1587
Number of pages17
JournalAd Hoc Networks
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Clustering
  • Cooperative communications
  • MAC protocol
  • Power control
  • Routing
  • Virtual MIMO
  • Wireless sensor networks


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