, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 481-494

Span: An Energy-Efficient Coordination Algorithm for Topology Maintenance in Ad Hoc Wireless Networks

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This paper presents Span, a power saving technique for multi-hop ad hoc wireless networks that reduces energy consumption without significantly diminishing the capacity or connectivity of the network. Span builds on the observation that when a region of a shared-channel wireless network has a sufficient density of nodes, only a small number of them need be on at any time to forward traffic for active connections. Span is a distributed, randomized algorithm where nodes make local decisions on whether to sleep, or to join a forwarding backbone as a coordinator. Each node bases its decision on an estimate of how many of its neighbors will benefit from it being awake, and the amount of energy available to it. We give a randomized algorithm where coordinators rotate with time, demonstrating how localized node decisions lead to a connected, capacity-preserving global topology. Improvement in system lifetime due to Span increases as the ratio of idle-to-sleep energy consumption increases. Our simulations show that with a practical energy model, system lifetime of an 802.11 network in power saving mode with Span is a factor of two better than without. Additionally, Span also improves communication latency and capacity.