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Sensors 2017, 17(2), 241; doi:10.3390/s17020241

IEEE 802.15.4 Frame Aggregation Enhancement to Provide High Performance in Life-Critical Patient Monitoring Systems

1
Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK
2
Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Giancarlo Fortino, Hassan Ghasemzadeh, Wenfeng Li, Yin Zhang and Luca Benini
Received: 3 November 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 23 January 2017 / Published: 28 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Body Sensor Networks: Sensors, Systems, and Applications)

Abstract

In wireless body area sensor networks (WBASNs), Quality of Service (QoS) provision for patient monitoring systems in terms of time-critical deadlines, high throughput and energy efficiency is a challenging task. The periodic data from these systems generates a large number of small packets in a short time period which needs an efficient channel access mechanism. The IEEE 802.15.4 standard is recommended for low power devices and widely used for many wireless sensor networks applications. It provides a hybrid channel access mechanism at the Media Access Control (MAC) layer which plays a key role in overall successful transmission in WBASNs. There are many WBASN’s MAC protocols that use this hybrid channel access mechanism in variety of sensor applications. However, these protocols are less efficient for patient monitoring systems where life critical data requires limited delay, high throughput and energy efficient communication simultaneously. To address these issues, this paper proposes a frame aggregation scheme by using the aggregated-MAC protocol data unit (A-MPDU) which works with the IEEE 802.15.4 MAC layer. To implement the scheme accurately, we develop a traffic patterns analysis mechanism to understand the requirements of the sensor nodes in patient monitoring systems, then model the channel access to find the performance gap on the basis of obtained requirements, finally propose the design based on the needs of patient monitoring systems. The mechanism is initially verified using numerical modelling and then simulation is conducted using NS2.29, Castalia 3.2 and OMNeT++. The proposed scheme provides the optimal performance considering the required QoS. View Full-Text
Keywords: patient monitoring systems; WBASN; QoS; IEEE 802.15.4; IEEE 802.15.6; frame aggregation; ECG; duty cycle; energy efficiency patient monitoring systems; WBASN; QoS; IEEE 802.15.4; IEEE 802.15.6; frame aggregation; ECG; duty cycle; energy efficiency
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Akbar, M.S.; Yu, H.; Cang, S. IEEE 802.15.4 Frame Aggregation Enhancement to Provide High Performance in Life-Critical Patient Monitoring Systems. Sensors 2017, 17, 241.

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