Software Defined Wireless Rechargeable Sensor Networks (SDWRSNs) are an inexorable trend for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), including Wireless Rechargeable Sensor Network (WRSNs). However, the traditional network devices cannot be completely substituted in the short term. Hybrid SDWRSNs, where software defined devices and traditional devices coexist, will last for a long time. Hybrid SDWRSNs bring new challenges as well as opportunities for energy saving issues, which is still a key problem considering that the wireless chargers are also exhaustible, especially in some rigid environment out of the main supply. Numerous energy saving schemes for WSNs, or even some works for WRSNs, are no longer suitable for the new features of hybrid SDWRSNs. To solve this problem, this paper puts forward an Energy-saving Traffic Scheduling (ETS) algorithm. The ETS algorithm adequately considers the new characters in hybrid SDWRSNs, and takes advantage of the Software Defined Networking (SDN) controller’s direct control ability on SDN nodes and indirect control ability on normal nodes. The simulation results show that, comparing with traditional Minimum Transmission Energy (MTE) protocol, ETS can substantially improve the energy efficiency in hybrid SDWRSNs for up to 20–40% while ensuring feasible data delay.
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