Energy-efficient multi-hop medical sensor networking

A. G. Ruzzelli*, R. Jurdak, G. M P O'Hare, P. Van Der Stok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Wireless sensor networks represent a key technology enabler for enhanced health care and assisted living systems. Recent standardization efforts to ensure compatibility among sensor network systems sold by different vendors have produced the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, which specifies the MAC and physical layer behavior. This standard has certain drawbacks: it supports only single-hop communication; it does not mitigate the hidden terminal problem; and it does not coordinate node sleeping patterns. The IEEE 802.15.4 standard design philosophy assumes that higher layer mechanisms will take care of any added functionality. Building on IEEE 802.15.4, this paper proposes TImezone COordinated Sleep Scheduling (TICOSS), a mechanism inspired by MERLIN [2] that provides multi-hop support over 802.15.4 through the division of the network into timezones. TICOSS is cross-layer in nature, as it closely coordinates MAC and routing layer behavior. The main contributions of TICOSS are threefold: (1) it allows nodes to alternate periods of activity and periods of inactivity to save energy; (2) it mitigates packet collisions due to hidden terminals belonging to nearby star networks; (3) it provides shortest path routing for packets from a node to the closest gateway. Simulation experiments confirm that augmenting IEEE 802.15.4 networks with TICOSS doubles the operational lifetime for high traffic scenarios. TICOSS has also been implemented on the Phillips AquisGrain modules for testing and eventual deployment in assisted living systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealthNet'07: Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGMOBILE International Workshop on Systems and Networking Support for Healthcare and Assisted Living Environments
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)1595937676, 9781595937674
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event5th International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications and Services - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 11 Jun 200711 Jun 2007


Other5th International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications and Services
Country/TerritoryPuerto Rico
CitySan Juan


  • 802.15.4
  • Efficiency
  • Efficient
  • Energy
  • Experiment
  • MAC
  • Medical
  • Networking
  • Networks
  • Routing
  • Scheduling
  • Sensor
  • System
  • Systems
  • Wireless
  • ZigBee


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