ZeroCal: Automatic MAC Protocol Calibration
Sensor network MAC protocols are typically configured for an intended deployment scenario once and for all at compile time. This approach, however, leads to suboptimal performance if the network conditions deviate from the expectations. We present ZeroCal, a distributed algorithm that allows nodes to dynamically adapt to variations in traffic volume. Using ZeroCal, each node autonomously configures its MAC protocol at runtime, thereby trying to reduce the maximum energy consumption among all nodes. While the algorithm is readily usable for any asynchronous low-power listening or low-power probing protocol, we validate and demonstrate the effectiveness of ZeroCal on X-MAC. Extensive testbed experiments and simulations indicate that ZeroCal quickly adapts to traffic variations. We further show that ZeroCal extends network lifetime by 50% compared to an optimal configuration with identical and static MAC parameters at all nodes.
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