Although low-power lossy network (LLN), at its early stage, commonly used asynchronous link layer protocols for simple operation on resource-constrained nodes, development of embedded hardware and time synchronization technologies made Time-Slotted Channel Hopping (TSCH) viable in LLN (now part of IEEE 802.15.4e standard). TSCH has the potential to be a link layer solution for LLN due to its resilience to wireless interference (e.g., WiFi) and multipath fading. However, its slotted operation incurs non-trivial cell scheduling overhead: two nodes should wake up at a time-frequency cell together to exchange a packet. Efficient cell scheduling in dynamic multihop topology in wireless environments has been an open issue, preventing TSCH’s wide adoption in practice. This work introduces ALICE, a novel autonomous link-based cell scheduling scheme which allocates a unique cell for each directional link (a pair of nodes and traffic direction) by closely interacting with the routing layer and using only local information, without any additional communication overhead. We implement ALICE on Contiki and evaluate its effectiveness on the IoT-LAB public testbed with 68 nodes. ALICE generally outperforms Orchestra (the state-of-the-art method) and even more so under heavy traffic and high node density, increasing throughput by 2 times with 98.3% reliability and reducing latency by 70%, route changes by 95%, and radio duty cycle by 35%. ALICE can serve as an autonomous scheduling framework, which paves the way for TSCH-based LLN to go on.
Published On: April 1, 2019
Presented At/In: IPSN 2019: The 18th ACM/IEEE Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks