Cross-layer Energy and Delay Optimization in Small-scale Sensor Networks

The general joint design of the physical, MAC, and routing layers to minimize network energy consumption is complex and hard to solve. Heuristics to compute approximate solutions and high-complexity algorithms to compute exact solutions have been previously proposed. In this paper, we focus on synchronous small-scale networks with interference-free link scheduling and practical MQAM link transmission schemes. We show that the cross-layer optimization problems can be closely approximated by convex optimization problems that can be efficiently solved. There are two main contributions of this paper. First of all, we minimize the total network energy that includes both transmission and circuit energy consumptions, where we explore the tradeoff between the two energy elements. Specifically, we use interference-free TDMA as the medium access control scheme. We optimize the routing flow, TDMA slot assignment, and MQAM modulation rate and power on each link. The results demonstrate that the minimum energy transmission scheme is a combination of multihop and singlehop transmissions for general networks; including circuit energy favors transmission schemes with fewer hops. Secondly, based on the solved optimal transmission scheme, we quantify the best trade-off curve between delay and energy consumption, where we derive a scheduling algorithm to minimize the worst-case packet delay.