Toronto Networking Seminar

Communications in Wireless Sensor Networks with Sectored Antennas: Theoretical and Practical Approaches

Eylem Ekici
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Ohio State University

Date:  Thursday, September 20,   2:10pm
Location: BA 2185 (Bahen Center)


Since its introduction, the Wireless Sensor Network WSN concept has been regarded as a powerful tool for mission critical applications such as surveillance in inhospitable environments. The general approach in design of WSNs is based on rather standard, omni-directional communication hardware with very little attention paid to predictability of information flow and propagation. Empirical data supports the observation that while the performance of WSNs is acceptable at low loads, high load cases triggered with correlated events are not handled well in general. In this talk, we introduce a new WSN architecture based on the use of sectored antennas. With improved spatial reuse properties and extended communication ranges, sectored antennas are currently being considered for the use in real large-scale WSN deployments. We will first introduce an analytical study of information propagation in WSNs with directional antennas. In this study, we model how physical information propagation is related to the number of transmissions in the WSN. Our model provides a highly accurate probability distribution function of the Euclidian distance covered in a given number of transmissions. Then we introduce a practical cross-layer communication protocol for clusters of directional antennas. The cross-layer protocol carries both schedule based as well as random-access based channel access characteristics. The construction of communication paths and the timing of the use of communication links are determined at high levels by cluster heads, which are executed locally by individual nodes in the cluster. We also present preliminary results for this ongoing work.


Dr. Eylem Ekici has received his BS and MS degrees in Computer Engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, in 1997 and 1998, respectively. He received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, in 2002. Since September 2002, he is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. He is an associate editor of Computer Networks Journal (Elsevier) and ACM Mobile Computing and Communications Review. He also served as the TPC co-chair of IFIP/TC6 Networking 2007 conference and ConWiN 2005, SenMetrics 2005, and Med-Hoc-Net 2004 workshops. Dr. Ekici's current research interests include wireless sensor networks, vehicular communication systems, and next generation wireless systems, with a focus on routing and medium access control protocols, resource management, and analysis of network architectures and protocols.