Skip to main content

Link Scheduling Scheme with Shared Links and Virtual Tokens for Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks


Industrial wireless sensor networks can help improve the efficiency, reconfigurability and flexibility of future factories, and facilitate the introduction of new applications. Industrial applications are generally characterized with strict reliability and latency requirements. The capacity to meet such requirements is highly dependent on an efficient utilization of communication links. Such efficient utilization will become even more critical as the number of deployed sensors and traffic in factories increase. In this context, this paper presents a novel link scheduling scheme for industrial wireless sensor networks that uses shared links among nodes that are part of the same path or multi-hop route. The transmission of a message along a route acts as a virtual token to identify which node should use the shared links at each point in time. This study demonstrates that the proposed link scheduling scheme can significantly improve the reliability, latency and efficiency of industrial wireless sensor networks. The proposed link scheduling scheme is here applied to industrial wireless sensor networks, but it can be used in other centralized TDMA-based multi-hop wireless networks.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10


  1. Each node gets into reception mode in a different link. For example, node B gets into reception mode in l 1 , while C and D do it in l 2 and l 3 respectively.

  2. If the second transmission would have been erroneous, node A will have tried for the third time the transmission of the message to node B using l 3 . If this transmission would have been correct, then node B would have transmitted the message to node C using l 4 .

  3. For example, if a scheme delivers very few messages to the destination node, it will consume less energy than a scheme that delivers most of the messages to the destination since fewer transmissions will take place.

  4. It is important to remember that when RTE is configured with two links per hop, it will not be able to deliver the message to the destination node if there are more than two transmission errors.

  5. When R is equal to 3, we will need to add an additional term that results from the multiplication of P 3-rtx (Eq. (8)) by its corresponding delay (H + 3) divided by PDR E2E . The D E2E expression is not shown here due to its complexity.

  6. This restriction aims to represent the fact that in factories, the mobility of nodes is generally limited to their working environment, e.g. workers usually move around the machinery they manipulate.

  7. The results are obtained considering the same PDR i value for each hop in the path.

  8. In fact, LIKUID always outperforms RTE independently of the number of hops in a path when R is equal or higher than 2.

  9. LIKUID4 assigns the same total number of links for the path as HbH and RTE in scenario 2. LIKUID3 assigned the same total number of links for the path as HbH and RTE in scenario 1.


  1. Hancke G, Gungor V, Hancke G (2014) Guest editorial special section on industrial wireless sensor networks. IEEE Trans Ind Inf 10(1):762–765. doi:10.1109/TII.2013.2280433

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. IEC 62591 Ed. 1.0: Industrial communication networks -wireless communication network and communication profiles-WirelessHART™, IEC, 2010

  3. Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications, ISA-100.11a-2009 Standard, 2009

  4. Dobslaw F, Zhang T, Gidlund M (2014) End-to-end reliability-aware scheduling for wireless sensor networks. IEEE Trans Ind Inf. doi:10.1109/TII.2014.2382335, available as early access article

    Google Scholar 

  5. Carlse PS (2011) Wireless HART versus ISA100.11a: the format war hits the factory floor. IEEE Ind Electron Mag 5(4):23–34. doi:10.1109/MIE.2011.943023

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Suriyachai P, Roedig U, Scott A (2012) A survey of MAC protocols for mission-critical applications in wireless sensor networks. IEEE Commun Surv Tutorials 14(2):240–264. doi:10.1109/SURV.2011.020211.00036

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Sgora A, Vergados DJ, Vergados DD (2015) A survey of TDMA scheduling schemes in wireless multihop networks. ACM Comput Surv 47(3):1–39. doi:10.1145/2677955

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Mathad KS, Mangalwede SR (2015) Scheduling approaches and routing protocols in wireless mesh networks—a survey. Int J Adv Res Comput Commun Eng 4(8):307–310

    Google Scholar 

  9. Saifullah A, Xu Y, Lu C, Chen Y (2015) Distributed channel allocation protocols for wireless sensor networks. IEEE Trans Parallel Distrib Syst 25(9):2264–2274. doi:10.1109/TPDS.2013.185

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Rhee I, Warrier A, Min J, Xu L (2009) DRAND: distributed randomized TDMA scheduling for wireless Ad Hoc networks. IEEE Trans Mob Comput 8(10):1384–1396. doi:10.1109/TMC.2009.59

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Zand P, Chatterjea S, Ketema J, Havinga P (2012) Distributed scheduling algorithm for real-time (D-SAR) industrial wireless sensor and actuator networks. Proc. of the 17th Conference on Emerging Technologies & Factory Automation (ETFA’12). doi:10.1109/ETFA.2012.6489719

  12. Li Y, Zhang H, Huang Z, Albert M (2014) Optimal link scheduling for delay-constrained periodic traffic over unreliable wireless links. Proc. of the 33th IEEE Conference on Computer Communication (INFOCOM'14). doi:10.1109/INFOCOM.2014.6848081

  13. Zhang S, Zhang G, Yan A, Xiang Z, Ma T (2013) A highly reliable link scheduling strategy for WirelessHART networks. Proc. of the 2013 I.E. International Conference on Advanced Technologies for Communication (ATC). doi:10.1109/ATC.2013.6698073

  14. Saifullah A, Xu Y, Lu C, Chen Y (2010) Real-time scheduling for WirelessHART networks. Proc. of the 31st IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium (RTSS). doi:10.1109/RTSS.2010.41

  15. Dang K, Shen JC, Dong LD, Xia YX (2013) A graph route-based superframe scheduling scheme in WirelessHART mesh networks for high robustness. Wirel Pers Commun 71(4):2431–2444. doi:10.1007/s11277-012-0946-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Suriyachai P, Roedig U, Scott A (2009) Implementation of a MAC protocol for QoS support in wireless sensor networks. Proc IEEE Int Conf Pervasive Comput Commun. doi:10.1109/PERCOM.2009.4912839

    Google Scholar 

  17. Broch D, Maltz A, Johnson DB, Hu YC, Jetcheva J (1998) A performance comparison of multi-hop wireless ad hoc network routing protocols. Proc. of the 4th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (Mobicom98). doi:10.1145/288235.288256

  18. XDM2510H, 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 WirelessHART compliant radio module, RF Monolithics, Mar. 2011

  19. Tanghe E, Joseph W et al (2008) The industrial indoor channel: large-scale and temporal fading at 900, 2400, and 5200 MHz. IEEE Trans Wirel Commun 7(7):2740–2751. doi:10.1109/TWC.2008.070143

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was supported in part by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and FEDER funds under the project TEC2014-57146-R, and by the Local Government of Valencia with reference ACIF/2013/060.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sergio Montero.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Montero, S., Gozalvez, J. & Sepulcre, M. Link Scheduling Scheme with Shared Links and Virtual Tokens for Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks. Mobile Netw Appl 22, 1083–1099 (2017).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Industrial wireless sensor networks
  • Scheduling
  • Link scheduling
  • WirelessHART
  • ISA100.11a
  • Shared links
  • Virtual tokens
  • Centralized TDMA
  • TDMA
  • Multi-hop wireless networks
  • Reliability
  • Latency
  • Energy consumption
  • Factories of the future
  • Industry 4.0
  • Industrial wireless communications
  • Industrial wireless networks