Abstract— Industrial wireless sensor networks (IWSNs) designed for mission- and time-critical applications require timely and deterministic data delivery within stringent deadline bounds.
Exceeding delay limits for such applications can lead to system malfunction or ultimately dangerous situations that can threaten human safety. In this paper, we propose Slot Stealing Medium Access Control (SS-MAC), an efficient SS-MAC protocol to guarantee predictable and timely channel access for time-critical data in IWSNs. In the proposed SS-MAC, aperiodic time-critical traffic opportunistically steals time slots assigned to periodic noncritical traffic. Additionally, a dynamic deadline-based scheduling is introduced to provide guaranteed channel access in emergency and event-based situations, where multiple sensor nodes are triggered simultaneously to transmit time-critical data to the controller. The proposed protocol is evaluated mathematically to provide the worst-case delay bound for the time-critical traffic.
Performance comparisons are carried out between the proposed SS-MAC and WirelessHART standard and they show that, for the time-critical traffic, the proposed SS-MAC can achieve, at least, a reduction of almost 30% in the worst-case delay with a significant channel utilization efficiency.
Index Terms— Deterministic, industrial wireless sensor networks, real-time, slot stealing.