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Congratulations to Faisal Ahmed MSc and Muhammad Furqan MSc on receiving a Honorable Mention at IMS 2017 in Honolulu

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Energy efficient communication

S. M. Haider Aejaz

The availability of cheap wireless sensor nodes has created endless applications in diverse areas like environmental monitoring, home automation, industrial monitoring, health care, transportation etc. Most of these devices do not have access to main electrical supply and are hence driven by batteries. The replacement of batteries is often a challenging task as the sensor nodes are usually placed in environments that are not easily accessible. Therefore, there is a strong need of increasing the lifetime of a sensor network in order to minimize the frequency of battery replacement. Sensor nodes are therefore utilized to operate in low-power sleep modes during the inactive phase and use their full-power only when it is required. The nodes experiencing poor channel conditions are likely to run out of battery power since they require more power to sustain communication. Cooperative communication techniques may be utilized in such scenarios. The nodes with poor channel conditions to the destination are assisted by other nodes that have comparatively better channel conditions. This cooperation can be termed as cooperative relaying and it significantly reduces the power consumption of nodes beleaguered by poor channel conditions. The lifetime of the whole network is hence improved.

Our work is aimed at developing and assessing the performance of cooperative communication algorithms for network lifetime improvement. We also target to reduce the computational complexity of such algorithms so that the algorithms are easily implementable on the sensor nodes constrained by limited memory and computational capabilities. Our primary focus is on industrial communication scenarios. We have developed a software simulator for IEEE 802.15.4 standard which is extensively used in industrial communication sensor node hardware. We have also developed a software-defined radio platform based on USRP's for the verification of our algorithms.