Cross-Layer Design for Lifetime Maximization in Interference-Limited Wireless Sensor Networks

We consider the joint optimal design of physical, medium access control (MAC), and routing layers to maximize the lifetime of energy-constrained wireless sensor networks. The problem of computing lifetime-optimal routing flow, link schedule, and link transmission powers for all active time slots is formulated as a non-linear optimization problem. We first restrict the link schedules to the class of interference-free time division multiple access (TDMA) schedules. In this special case we formulate the optimization problem as a mixed integer-convex program, which can be solved using standard techniques. For general non-orthogonal link schedules, we propose an iterative algorithm that alternates between adaptive link scheduling and computation of optimal link rates and transmission powers for a fixed link schedule. The performance of this algorithm is compared to other design approaches for several network topologies. The results illustrate the advantages of load balancing, multihop routing, frequency reuse, and interference mitigation in increasing the lifetime of energy-constrained networks. We also describe a partially distributed algorithm to compute optimal rates and transmission powers for a given link schedule.