Sie sind auf Seite 1von 17

Efficient Protocols for Railway Accident Monitoring

G.Kiruthika, S.Vinodhini, UG Scholars, SNS College of Technology,Coimbatore

AbstractRecent advances in wireless sensor networking (WSN)


techniques have encouraged interest in the development of vehicle health
monitoring (VHM) systems. These have the potential for use in the
monitoring of railway signaling systems and rail tracks. Energy efficiency is
one of the most important design factors for the WSNs as the typical sensor
nodes are equipped with limited power batteries. In earlier research, an
energy-efficient cluster-based adaptive time-division multiple- access
(TDMA) medium-access-control (MAC) protocol, named EA-TDMA, has
been developed by the authors for the purpose of communication between
the sensors placed in a railway wagon.
T
g
his
the
pa
idle
per
tim
pro
e
pos
dur
es
ing
an
the
oth
con
er
tent
ne
ion
w
per
pro
iod.
toc
In
ol,
add
na
itio
me
n to
d
rail
Ewa
B
y
M
app
A,
lica
wh
tion
ich
s,
ach
the
iev
EA
es
eve
TD
n
MA
bet
and
ter
Eene
BM
rgy
A
effi
pro
cie
toc
ncy
ols
for
are
low
suit
an
abl
d
e
me
for
diu
gen
m
eric
tra
wir
ffic
eles
by
s
mi
dat
ni
a
mi
co
zin
mm

uni
cat
ion
pu
rpo
ses.
Bot
h
an
aly
tic
al
an
d
sim
ula
tio
n
res
ult
s
for
the
ene
rgy
con
su
mp
tio
n
of
TD
M
A,
EA
TD
M
A,
B
M
A,
an
d
EB
M
A
ha
ve
bee
n
pre
sen
ted
in
thi
s
pa
per
to
de
mo
nst
rat
e
the
sup
eri
ori
ty
of
the
EA
-

TD
MA
and
EBM
A
pro
toc
ols.
Index TermsEnergy efficiency, medium access control (MAC)
protocol, railway wagon, vehicle health monitoring (VHM), wire- less
sensor network (WSN).

I. INTRODUCTION

Fig. 1. Typical scenario for railway-wagon health monitoring system.

itoring vehicle characteristics in real time from track measurement data has been addressed by various research organizations [2][7]. Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are widely used to
monitor railway tracks and irregularities, detect abandoned
objects in railway stations, develop intrusion detection systems,
ITH the increased demand for railway services, railway
monitoring systems continue to advance at a remarkable

pace to maintain reliable, safe, and secure operation. The lack of


safety and security monitoring of railway infrastructure runs the risk
of train collision, train derailment, terrorist threats, failures in the
train wagons, etc. The performance of rail vehicles run- ning on
tracks is limited by the lateral instability inherent to the design of
the wagon's steering and the response of the railway wagon to
individual or combined track irregularities. Railway track
irregularities need to be kept within safe operating mar- gins by
undertaking appropriate maintenance programs. Track geometry
inspection and monitoring enhances train-operating safety and
reduced vehicle and track dynamic interaction. MonManuscript received March 15, 2012; revised August 15, 2012 and October 15,
2012; accepted October 20, 2012. Date of publication November 30, 2012; date
of current version May 29, 2013. This work was supported in part by Prof. P. Wolfs
and in part by Prof. C. Cole, both from the Center for Railway Engineering, Central
Queensland University. The Associate Editor for this paper was B. Ning.
G. M. Shafiullah and S. A. Azad are with the Power Engineering Research
Group, School of Engineering and Built Environment, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Qld. 4702, Australia (e-mail: g.shafiullah@cqu.edu.au;
s.azad@cqu.edu.au).
A. B. M. S. Ali is with the School of Information and Communication Technology, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Qld. 4702, Australia (email: s.ali@cqu.edu.au).
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online
at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TITS.2012.2227315

secure railway operations, and monitor tunnels [8]-[10].


Seifert envisioned [8] that a network of smart sensors could be
utilized to monitor public spaces for potential invasion to alert
the operators at a control center about the event. In addition, a
WSN can be deployed to monitor large areas with greater
efficacy in video-based intrusion detection systems.
Aboelela et al. [9] proposed a new approach to reduce the
accident rate and increase the efficiency of railroad maintenance
activities. The protocol adopts a multilayered multipath routing
architecture in which each sensor transmits the sensed data to the
two nearest cluster heads (CHs). Each CH aggregates the data
using a fuzzy logic technique and transfers it to the sink node.
Cheekiralla [10] designed a wireless sensor unit for the
surveillance of a train tunnel, which measures the vertical
displacements along the critical zone of the tunnel during
adjacent construction activity.
The potential of WSN technology to monitor the railwaywagon health condition and the vertical displacement of railway
wagons due to track irregularities has yet to be fully explored. The
limited lifetime of the batteries that power the sensor nodes makes
the energy efficiency a major design issue for WSNs [11]. This
paper concentrates on developing an energy-efficient WSN MAC
protocol to collect data from sensor nodes that are placed inside
the railway wagons and send the data to the locomotive for
further precautionary actions to prevent any future disastrous
events. A prototype of the proposed railway- wagon health
monitoring system is given in Fig. 1. Although the proposed energyefficient protocol is designed with the railway applications in mind,
it is applicable to generic wireless data communication purposes.
Analytical and simulation models have been developed for the
existing and proposed protocols to compare their performances in
terms of energy consumption.

II. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY


Central Queensland University, in collaboration with the
Center for Railway Engineering [4], has been working on an
autonomous health card device for online analysis of car body
motion to perceive track condition and monitor derailment. The
health card devices use an accelerometer and angular rate sensors
with a coordinate transform to analyze the car body motions into
six degrees of freedom [12], [13]. These health card devices
inspect every wagon in the eet using low-cost smart devices [4],
[12]. An algorithm was developed, which analyzes signals
coming from accelerometers mounted on the wagon body to
measure the dynamic interaction between the track and the rail
vehicle. The algorithm was validated using collected field data,
e.g., accelerations measured at strategic points on the wagon body
and the bogies.
Each prototype health card incorporates a 27-MHz microcontroller with 256 kB of onboard RAM, four dual-axis
accelerometers, a Global Positioning Satellite receiver,
two low-power radios, lithium-ion batteries, and a solar
panel. A Rabbit 3000 processor is used, which requires
200 mW of power at 40 MHz. The first generation of
the health card con- sumes a total of 400 mW or energy
requirement of 9.6 Wh daily. An 80-Wh lithium battery
is built into the health card that can provide energy for
up to eight days. Data were collected from a ballast
wagon in which dual-axis accelerometers were fitted to
each corner of the body and each side frame. A
personal- computer-based data acquisition system was
used to store data. The main purpose of the data
acquisition was to provide real data that are represented
to the health card device. Data have been used to
validate and demonstrate the effectiveness of signal
analysis techniques and, finally, to develop a model to
monitor typical dynamic behavior and track
irregularities [12], [13].
Both the vertical and lateral conditions of the railway wagon
have been measured by each accelerometer. The aim of the
sensing arrangement was to capture roll, pitch, yaw, vertical, and
lateral accelerations of the wagon body. The
ADXL202/ADXL210 [14] dual-axis low-power low-cost acceleration sensor measured 16 channel acceleration data in g
units, with eight channels for the wagon body and eight for the
wagon side frame. Four sensor nodes were placed in each wagon
body, and the locations of the sensors were front-left body, frontright body, rear-left body, and rear-right body. Sim- ilarly, four
sensor nodes were placed in each wagon's side fame [4]. Sensor
locations and naming convention are illustrated in Fig. 2. The
sampling rate of the accelerometer can be set from 0.01 Hz to 5
KHz through adjustable capacitors, and the clock speed of this
health card device was set to 100 Hz. Data were continuously
collected from a ballast wagon, which was a
conventional three-piece bogie spaced lb = 10.97 m apart. The
accelerometers were spaced l = 14.4 m apart. The test run was
a normal ballast lying operation, starting with a full load of
ballast, traveling to the maintenance site, dropping the ballast on
the track, and returning empty via the same route.
This research work is an extension of the existing health card
system development endeavor, aiming at improving the energy
efficiency of the railway-wagon health monitoring system. In the

Fig. 2.

Accelerometer locations and axis naming convention [4].

proposed system, there are five sensor nodes placed inside

each wagon, instead of four in the existing system. One sensor


node is used as a CH that collects data from other nodes and
sends data to the central control room or base station (BS). In this
system, an accelerometer has been placed in each corner of the
wagon and one accelerometer at the center of the wagon, which
acts as a CH. The BS is placed in the middle of the train for
optimal signal transmission range. If there are W wagons in the
train, then the BS is positioned between wagons W/2 and W/2 +
1. This feature not only reduces the overall energy consumption
of the network significantly but reduces energy dissipation of
each CH as well, as they need to transmit data over a shorter
range.
Each node forwards packets to the CH in each wagon, and the CH
works as a router to send the data to the BS in the middle of the
train. The locomotive driver can monitor the sensor data through
an audio/visual system and take decisions accordingly. Each node
is powered by an internal battery to make this work independently.
The cluster-based WSN deployed in the railway-wagon health
monitoring system, as illustrated, must be designed to be very
energy efficient and reliable. In a sensor node, power is required for

data sensing, communication, and data processing. Energy


efficiency is a major issue in designing WSN to prolong the network
lifetime as the sensor nodes have limited battery lifetime. The
main sources of energy loss are idle listening, col- lision,
overhearing, overemitting, and control packet overhead [11], [15].
The wireless modules of the health card were developed using
Bluetooth IEEE 802.15.1 standard [16], which is an outdated
standard. Bluetooth devices are inefficient in terms of energy
dissipation. The data communication range of Bluetooth is only 10
m, which requires more of sensors per wagon for data
communication with the locomotive. The absence of energyefficient features for data collection and communica- tion
between wagons to the locomotive makes this system less
reliable. Instead of Bluetooth technology, this study con- siders
the IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee standard [17], which is an ultralowpower and low-data-rate radio standard. Due to its simplicity and
low cost, ZigBee is the most suitable standard to date for railway
applications, e.g., data communication be- tween sensor nodes
placed inside the wagons. The CC2431

Fig. 3.

Operation diagram of TDMA [22].

System-on-Chip [18] uses an energy-efficient ZigBee-enabled


CC2420 RF transceiver [19] with an enhanced 8051 microcontroller, up to 128-KB Flash memory, 8 KB of RAM, and many
other powerful features, such as low current consumption, that
makes the technology an attractive solution for WSNs. The ZigBeecompliant radio operates on 16 channels in the 2.4-GHz ISM band,
and standard data rates are 250 kb/s. This data transfer capability
is suitable for the sensor networks placed in the railway wagon.
In general, the maximum length of the railway wagon is 17 m.
However, considering redundancy, it is wise to be considering a
radio receiver with a 34-m range that covers two wagons. Hence,
the transmission range of the receiver is expected to be sufficient
for the railway wagon as it covers 35 m of wireless range.
IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee standard has four states: sleep or
shutdown, idle or listening, transmit, and receiving. It was shown
in an experiment by Bougard et al. [20] that the Zigbee standard
consumes less than 50% of the energy for actual data
transmission, and the rest of the energy is consumed for other
activities. A significant percentage (25%) of the energy is consumed
during the contention procedure. This is due to the multiplicative
effect of carrier-sense multiple access/collision detection
(CSMA/CD). The waiting for an acknowledgement consumes
15% of the energy. Moreover, 20% of the en- ergy is used for
listening for the beacon by the transceiver. Based on the energy
breakdown, several ways to improve the overall energy efficiency
were proposed by the researchers. Bougard et al. [20] proposed an
energy-aware radio activation policy to optimize the PHY and
MAC layers' parameters in a dense sensor network scenario.
Experimental results showed that PHY level improvements
combined with MAC optimiza- tions allow energy-efficient selfpowered sensor networks [20].
The traditional wireless MAC and routing protocols do not
fulfill the requirements of WSN applications since WSN
protocols need to focus on energy-efficient design to ensure
minimum power consumption and maximum battery lifetime
[21], [22]. Energy-efficient MAC and routing protocol design is
currently a prime research area in wireless data communication
application.
This paper concentrates on developing an energy-efficient
WSN MAC protocol to collect data from sensor nodes that are
placed inside the railway wagons and send it to the locomotive for
further precautionary actions. The authors have already de- veloped
an analytical model of an energy-efficient WSN MAC

protocol EA-TDMA [1], which is the most suitable for medium to


high traffic. This paper proposes another energy-efficient WSN
MAC protocol, named E-BMA, which achieves even better
energy efficiency. Popular MAC protocols are discussed
in the following section with their strengths and weaknesses.
III. SCHEDULE-BASED MEDIUM-ACCESS
CONTROL PROTOCOL
The major requirements of a wireless MAC protocol are:
energy efficiency, scalability, latency, fairness, and bandwidth
utilization. Contention-based protocols are scalable and adaptable to node density or traffic load variations. However, these
schemes have a major limitation relating to an enormous amount
of energy wasted due to collisions, overhearing, and idle listening
[11], [21]. Schedule-based protocols are collision free and, hence,
trim down the wastage of energy due to colli- sion. However, they
lack the exibility and scalability inherent in the contention-based
protocols.
Time-division multiple access (TDMA) is a schedule-based
MAC protocol where the transmission channel is divided into
several time slots, and each node is assigned a time slot. Each
node wakes up and transmits data only in its allocated time slot and
remains in sleep mode in the remaining time slots [11], [21].
However, this protocol only uses the node energy effi- ciently
when the traffic load is high. Nodes with empty buffers keep their
radio turned on during their scheduled slot and, hence, dissipate
some of their remaining energy. The energy- efficient TDMA (ETDMA) reduces energy consumption due to idle listening. Sensor
nodes keep their radios off when there is no data to transmit.
However, the CH has to keep the radio on all the time and hence
waste energy [11], [21], [22]. Fig. 3 illustrates a single round for
TDMA protocol.
Low-energy adaptive clustering hierarchy (LEACH) [23], an
architecture for wireless microsensor networks, incorporates the
features of cluster-based routing and MAC protocol. This
protocol achieves energy efficiency and low latency while
maintaining application-specific quality. LEACH allows all data
from nodes within the cluster to be locally processed in the CH
that reduces the data set. Data aggregation was done to combine
several correlated data signals into a smaller set of information,
and then, the resultant data were sent to the BS using a fixed
spreading code and a CSMA approach [23], [24].
The bit-map-assisted (BMA) protocol [25] is another
schedule-based protocol that aims at reducing energy wastage

Fig. 4. Operation diagram of the BMA protocol [25].

Fig. 5. Operation and timing diagram of the EA-TDMA protocol [1].

due to collision and idle listening. This protocol deals only


with event-driven networks where sensor nodes forward data to
the CH only if a significant event has been detected. The cluster
setup phase is similar to the LEACH [23] protocol. In the
contention period, each node in the cluster transmits a 1-bit
control message to the CH node during its allocated slot if it has
data to transmit; otherwise, the transmitter radio remains idle. At
the end of the contention period, the CH in the BMA protocol
makes a transmission schedule and transmits the schedule only to
the source nodes [25], [26]. In TDMA, once a node is allocated a
data slot, that allocation persists for all frames in that round
regardless of whether the node has enough data packets to send in
each frame. Conversely, in BMA, the allocation is done in the
contention phase before the starting of each frame, as shown in Fig.
4. Therefore, BMA is more energy

efficient than TDMA and E-TDMA for the cases of low traffic load,
relatively few sensor nodes per cluster, and relatively large packet
size [25], [26].
In railway applications, the accelerometer data are continuously collected while the train is in operation from sensor nodes,
and hence, this application is classified as a medium to high traffic
load as the sensor collects data at the rate of 25 kb/s. Considering the
application requirements, authors developed an energy-efficient
protocol, named EA-TDMA [1], which reduces the energy
consumption during data transmission. In this protocol, every
node wakes up in its allocated slot and transmits data to the CH. If
there are no data to send, it turns off the radio immediately. The
nodes move into sleep mode instead of idle mode in the absence of
data. An operation diagram and a timing diagram of the EATDMA protocol are illustrated in

Fig. 6.

Operation of the E-BMA protocol.

F
i

g
.

d
e

l
e

n
d

d
e

i
p

e
c

i
v

y
.

EA-TDMA protocol is available in [1]. The energy consump- tion

of EA-TDMA is significantly less than TDMA at low traffic


loads, although this gap diminishes at high traffic loads. This
protocol also outperforms BMA protocol in all traffic conditions
except very low traffic [1]. In this paper, in addition to the
analytical results, the superiority of the EA-TDMA protocol has
been demonstrated by the simulation model.
The railway-wagon health monitoring system requires the
MAC protocol to be capable of handling steady traffic and energy
efficient. Although some of the aforementioned proto- cols were
customized to achieve energy efficiency, this paper further
explores the achievement of better energy efficiency. In addition to
the EA-TDMA protocol in this paper, the authors propose a new
energy-efficient WSN MAC protocol, named E-BMA. This paper
explores both the analytical and simulation model of EA-TDMA
and E-BMA protocols to demonstrate the superiority of these
protocols compared with other conventional protocols. The
proposed protocol achieves better energy effi- ciency for low to
medium traffic load, and it is comparable with the EA-TDMA and
TDMA protocols for high traffic load. The newly proposed energyefficient E-BMA protocol is described in the next section.
IV. ENERGY-EFFICIENT E-BMA PROTOCOL
The BMA protocol consumes less energy than TDMA at low
and medium traffic loads, whereas in the energy-efficient ver- sion,
EA-TDMA consumes less energy than BMA, unless the traffic
load is very low. The contention phase in BMA helps to minimize
the idle listening period during the data transmission phase;
however, the contention phase itself consumes a certain amount of
energy before each frame transmission. The energy consumption
in the contention phase is paid off at light traffic loads. However,
at high traffic loads, this contention phase turns into an overhead
as the probability of data transmission becomes almost certain. In
the proposed E-BMA protocol, the source nodes use piggybacking
to make the reservation of the corresponding data slot rather than
sending a control message during its allocated contention slot, as
shown in Fig. 6. Unlike BMA, in the new protocol, a source node
does not make the reservation in the contention slot as soon as the
data packet becomes available. Instead, it waits for one additional
frame

duration to see if there is a successive data packet to send.


There is a 1-bit field allocated in each data packet header to
indicate whether the source node has a successive data packet to
send. If a source node has successive data packets to send in a
number of consecutive frames, the reservation is made once for the
initial data packet in its allocated contention slot, and the
successive confirmations will be made through piggybacking.
Note that piggybacking a control message requires only 1-bit
extra space in the data packet, and hence, the additional power
required for piggybacking a control message on a data packet is
negligible. In E-BMA, the transceiver of the source node is
turned off during the contention phase when it has no control
message to send, whereas in BMA, the transmitter is kept idle in
similar situations. This allows the E-BMA protocol to save
energy both at low and medium traffic. E-MBA is only
outperformed by TDMA and EA-TDMA when the traffic load is
extremely high. To achieve energy efficiency, the E-BMA
protocol compromises the latency of data transmission. Each data
packet has to wait for one additional frame duration before being
transmitted to the CH. As there will be few sensor nodes per cluster
in the railway-wagon health monitoring system, the frame length
will be much shorter, and the latency of E-BMA will be within the
acceptable limit.
Operation of the E-MBA protocol is divided into rounds, and
each round is comprised of a setup phase and a steady- state
phase. The steady-state phase is comprised of a contention phase
and a data transmission phase. Both cluster formation and CH
selection occur in the setup phase. All non-CH nodes reserve the
data slots in the contention phase, whereas data transmission from
source nodes to the CH occurs during the data transmission phase.
Setup Phase: Considering the specific application area and
its simplicity, it is assumed that the network consists of
multiple fixed clusters. In each of the clusters, there is one
CH located in the center of the cluster. Based on the
application and cluster size, direct transmission for data
communication between source nodes and the CH is
considered instead of multihop data transmission. In the
setup phase, the CH informs all nodes about the start of the
current round, frame start/stop time, and number of frames in a
round.
Contention Phase: Each node is assigned a specific slot in
the contention phase. A node transmits a 1-bit control

message during its scheduled slot to reserve a data slot if it


has a data packet to transmit; otherwise, the node remains in
sleep mode during that contention slot. After the contention
period is completed, the CH sets up and broadcasts a
transmission schedule for the source nodes. However, unlike
BMA, the source node does not make the reservation
immediately after the data becomes available. Instead, the
source node keeps the data packet in the buffer, and it waits for
one frame duration to see if there is a consecutive data packet
to send.
Data Transmission Phase: The data transmission phase contains one or more frames. The size and duration of each
frame is fixed. Nodes send their data to the CH at most once
per frame during their allocated time slot. During the data
transmission phase, each source node turns on its radio in its
allocated data slot and transmits data to the CH. If there are
consecutive packets, the transmitted data packet conveys that
information through piggybacking.
After receiving all data from the nodes of a round, data aggregation takes place to reduce unwanted data. A considerable
amount of energy is saved if the data are locally aggregated in the
CH first rather than when sending the raw data to the BS or
central controller and aggregating them in the BS. Then, the
resultant data are sent from the CH to the BS using a spreading
code and a CSMA approach, as used in the LEACH protocol [20].
Once the CH is ready to send the aggregated data, it must sense the
channel to see if anyone else is transmitting using the BS
spreading code. The CH waits if the channel is busy; otherwise,
the CH transmits data to the BS. After a predefined time, the
system begins the next round, and the whole process is repeated.
Analytical and simulation models were developed based on the
energy model [21], [22] for the TDMA, EA-TDMA, BMA, and EBMA to compare their performances in terms of traffic load and
energy dissipation features, which is presented in the next section.

TABLE I
NOMENCLATURE

check its buffer, and turn off its radio is in E-TDMA is Te. The
parameters used in the analysis are defined in Table I.
A. Energy Consumption
The energy consumption of the TDMA, EA-TDMA, BMA,
and E-BMA protocols based on the energy model in [20] and [22]
is modeled as follows.
Energy Consumption of TDMA Protocol: During the contention, the CH and all non-CH nodes keep their radios on,
and communication takes place between the CH and all nonCH nodes. In this period, the CH assigns data slots to
individual nodes for data transmission and informs all nodes
in the cluster. Therefore, energy consumption by
the CH to send a control message is PtTc, and energy
consumption by each node to receive a control message is
PrTc. Therefore, the energy consumption in a contention
period is given by
Econt = N PrTc + PtTc.

V. ANALYTICAL AND SIMULATION MODELING


T

e
r

c
e

t
h

(1)

t
h
e

p
r
o
p
o
s
e
d

E
B
M
A

p
r
o
t
o
c
o
l
and compare its performance with existing wireless MAC protocols, including EA-TDMA, analytical and simulation models
have developed.
This proposed protocol is analyzed in a WSN scenario where
there are one CH and N non-CH nodes in each cluster, assum- ing
that there are l frames in a round. The data slot duration is
assumed to be Td. Let the probability of a node having data to
transmit be p. The power consumption in the transmit mode and
the receive mode are Pt and Pr, respectively. Energy dissipation
of idle listening mode is P i. For simplicity, as stated in [21]
and [23], the energy required to turn on the radio by the source
nodes for transmission or reception is negligible and, hence, is
ignored in the following analysis.
As per definition, Td is the time required to transmit or
receive a data packet, and it is assumed that Tc is the time
required to transmit/receive a control packet. The time required
for the CH to transmit a control message to all non-CH nodes
in BMA is Tch. The time required for a node to switch on,

Each node transmits, at most, one packet per frame interval. During a frame transmission, energy consumption by
a source node is PtTd. The energy consumed by the CH
while receiving the data packet is PrTd. A nonsource node
turns on its radio and keeps it idle during its scheduled time
slots. The energy consumed by a nonsource node is PiTd.
As the CH also stays in idle mode when there are no data
to receive from the non-CH node during a data slot, the
energy consumed by the CH is also PiTd.
In a data slot, a node sends data with probability p and
remains idle with probability (1 p). The expected energy
consumption during a single frame transmission consisting
of N data slots is [pPtTd + (1 p)PiTd + pPrTd + (1
p)P iT d]N . The expected energy consumption in a transmission round is given by
Etrans = [pPtTd +(1p)PeTe +pPrTd +(1p)PiTd] lN. (2)
As each round is comprised of l frames, the average energy
consumption per round in the TDMA protocol can be

formulated as
ETDMA = [N PrTc + PtTc]
+ [pPtTd + 2(1 p)PiTd + pPrTd] lN.

sent by the same source node in the previous frame) and


remains idle in the remaining (N 1) contention slots.
The nonsource nodes keep their radio turned off during
the entire contention period. A control message cannot
be piggybacked if there is no data packet sent in the
previous frame by the same node. The probability of a
data packet not being piggybacked is p(1 p). If a control
message is piggybacked, the source node keeps the radio
turned off in the respective contention slot, whereas the CH
node remains in idle listening mode. The expected energy
consumption during a contention period is given by

(3)

Energy
Consumption of EA-TDMA Protocol: Similar to the
TDMA protocol, the energy consumption in a contention
period is given by
Econt = N PrTc + PtTc.

(4)

EA-TDMA differs from TDMA in that every non-CH node


in EA-TDMA wakes up in its allocated slot and checks
transmit buffers. If there are no data to send, it turns off the
radio immediately. Hence, the energy consumed by a non-

Econt = [p(1 p)PtTc + PrTch] N


+ [p(1 p)PrTc + (1 p(1 p)) PiTc] N + PtTch.

CH node that has no data to transmit is PeTe. The energy


PeTe is used to switch on, check the transmit buffers,
and then turn off the radio module. The expected energy
consumption in a transmission round is given by

During a frame transmission, each source node sends the


data packet in its allocated slot, whereas the nonsource nodes
keep their radios turned off. Note that piggybacking a control
message only requires 1-bit extra space in the data packet.
Hence, it is assumed that no additional power is required for
piggybacking. The expected energy consumption during a frame transmission is given by
Eframe = [pPtTd + pPrTd]N.
(11)

Etrans = [[pPtTd + (1 p)PeTe]


+ [pPrTd + (1 p)PiTd]] lN.

(10)

(5)

As each round is comprised of l frames, the


average energy
consumption per round in the EA-TDMA protocol can be
formulated as

The average energy consumption per round in the E-BMA


protocol can be formulated as

EEATDMA = [N PrTc + PtTc] + [[pPtTd + (1 p)PeTe]


+ [pPrTd + (1 p)PiTd]] lN. (6)

EEBMA = [[p(1 p)PtTc + p(1 p)PrTc


+ (1 p(1 p)) PiTc + PrTch + pPtTd
+ pPrTd] N + PtTch]

Energy Consumption of BMA Protocol: In BMA, there is


a contention period in each session when
all nodes keep
their radios on. Each source node transmits a control
message during its scheduled slot, as well as its remains
idle (N 1) slots. Each nonsource node stays idle during
the contention period. During a contention slot, the CH
node receives control packets when there is a source node
sending a control packet; otherwise, the CH stays idle. The
expected energy consumption during a contention period is
given by

l.

Econt = [pPtTc +(1 p)PiTc +(N 1)PiTc +PrTch] N


+ [pPrTc + (1 p)PiTc] N + PtTch.

(7)

During a
frame transmission, each source node sends the
data packet in its allocated slot, whereas the nonsource nodes
keep their radios turned off. The expected energy
consumption during a frame transmission is given by
Eframe = [pPtTd + pPrTd]N.

(12)

(8)

The average energy consumption per round in the BMA


protocol can be formulated as
EBMA = [[pPtTc + pPrTc + 2(1 p)PiTc + (N 1)PiTc
+PrTch + pPtTd + pPrTd] N + PtTch] l. (9)

B. Transmission Latency
The maximum transmission latency of TDMA and EATDMA protocols is given by Tc + N Td as both protocols have
similar frame structure. The maximum transmission latency of
BMA is Tch + (Tc + Td)N . The maximum transmission latency of E-BMA is 2[Tch + 2(Tc + Td)N ] as each data packet
has to wait for one additional frame duration before being
transmitted.
Simulation models have been developed for the TDMA, EATDMA, BMA, and E-BMA protocols to verify the correctness
of the analytical models using Java programming language and
SimJava Package version 2.0 [27]. SimJava is a process- oriented
discrete-event simulation package developed by the University of
Edinburgh. The simulation results represent the general
characteristics of the existing and proposed protocols.
The simulation for each model was run for 10 000 rounds. The
Energy Consumption of E-BMA Protocol: A source node
sends a control message in its respective contention slot
(unless the reservation is done by the preceding data packet

expected energy consumption was calculated, averaging energy


consumption over the entire simulation period.
Both analytical and simulation results confirm that E-BMA is
more energy efficient than the other three protocols at low to
medium traffic. It is only outperformed by the TDMA and EA-

TDMA protocols when the traffic is extremely high.


In the following section, detailed analyses of the results are
presented, and protocol performances in terms of energy
dissipation are compared.

Fig. 7. Energy dissipation of EA-TDMA, BMA, and TDMA protocols as a function of probability p (N = 10 and l = 2).

VI. RESULTS AND ANALYSIS


This section analyzes the performance of the proposed
E-BMA protocol in terms of energy efficiency and transmission
latency. In addition, the performance of the E-BMA protocol has
been compared with that of the TDMA, EA-TDMA, and BMA
protocols in terms of energy dissipation and transmis- sion
latency. As aforementioned, the IEEE 802.15.4 standard and
ZigBee wireless module are used for the proposed MAC protocol.
The ZigBee-enabled 2.4-GHz CC2420 RF transceiver [19] is used
for this analytical and simulation analysis. For analytical and
simulation modeling purposes, it is assumed that the power
consumption is 50 mW for transmitting, 54 mW for receiving,
and 50 mW for idle listening. These power ratings are
comparable with that of the CC2420 RF transceiver
specification. The data rate is 25 kb/s, and the control packet size
is 5 bytes. For simplicity, it is assumed that
Te = Td/10 and that Pe = Pi.
A. Energy Consumption
Energy consumption of the protocols has been evaluated and
compared for different parameter settings. For analytical and
simulation analysis, four cases have considered the estimation of
the energy dissipation of the protocols being analyzed.
Case 1: In this case, the average energy consumption of the
aforementioned four WSN MAC protocols has been derived for various transmission probabilities. It is assumed
that the total number of non-CH nodes is N = 10, the
number of frames is l = 2 per round, and the data packet size
is 100 bytes.
Fig. 7(a) and (b) shows the average energy consumption of the TDMA, EA-TDMA, BMA, and E-BMA protocols for the transmission probability varying from p = 0.1 to
1.0. The graphs reveal that the energy consumption of the
TDMA protocol is almost constant as the difference be- tween
transmission power and idle listening power is very small. The
EA-TDMA protocol consumes less energy for low to medium
traffic, i.e., from p = 0.1 to 0.5, whereas it is as good as the
TDMA protocol for medium to high traffic,1
1
Low data traffic refers to transmission probability, i.e., p < 0.3, whereas high data
traffic refers to transmission probability, i.e., p > 0.7. Medium traffic refers to the
transmission probability in between.

i.e., from p = 0.5 to 1.0. This is because, in EA-TDMA, if a


node has no data to send in its allocated slot, the transceiver
is turned off to save energy. The lower the traffic, the higher
the savings. The BMA protocol is com- parable with the EATDMA protocol for low traffic, i.e., p = 0.1; however, it
consumes more energy than TDMA and EA-TDMA for
medium to high traffic because the contention phase in BMA
consumes a certain amount of energy, depending on the
traffic load. At high traf- fic loads, the contention phase
turns into an overhead for BMA.
The proposed E-BMA protocol outperforms all three
protocols significantly. The E-BMA is only outperformed
by TDMA and EA-TDMA when p 0.8, i.e., when the
traffic load is high. In E-BMA, the transceiver of the source
node is turned off during a contention slot when it has no
control message to send, whereas in BMA, the transceiver is
kept idle in similar situations. This allows the E-BMA
protocol to save energy both at low and medium traffic.
However, at high traffic loads, the overhead of the contention phase surpasses the savings and that why E-MBA is
only outperformed by TDMA and EA-TDMA when the traffic
load is extremely high. It is to be noted that there is a constant
difference between the energy consumption of BMA and that
of E-BMA.
Case 2: In this experiment, the average energy consumption of
the aforementioned four WSN MAC protocols has been derived for a different number of non-CH nodes. It is assumed that
the transmission probability is p = 0.4, the number of frames
is l = 2, and data packet size is 100 bytes.
Fig. 8(a) and (b) shows the average energy consumption of TDMA, EA-TDMA, BMA, and E-BMA protocols for
the total number of non-CH nodes varying from N = 5 to 50.
As the traffic load is medium (p = 0.4) in this situation, the
performance of E-BMA is the best, which is followed by EATDMA and TDMA. The BMA protocol has the maximum
energy consumption at medium traffic load. The energy
consumption of the BMA protocol dra- matically rises as N
increases, signifying the overhead due to contention. The
proposed E-BMA protocol minimizes this overhead through
piggybacking at medium traffic load. There is a moderate
increase in the energy consumption in TDMA and E-TDMA
as the number of nodes increases

Fig. 8.

Energy dissipation of EA-TDMA, BMA, and TDMA protocols as a function of number of nodes in a cluster: N (p = 0.4, l = 10).

Fig. 9.

Energy dissipation of EA-TDMA, BMA, and TDMA protocols as a function of number of frames: l (N = 20, p = 0.3).

since the overhead in the contention period is minimal for


these two protocols.
Case 3: In this case, the aforementioned four WSN MAC
protocols have been evaluated in terms of average energy
consumption for various numbers of frames per round. It is
assumed that the total number of non-CH nodes is N = 10, the
transmission probability is p = 0.3, and the data packet size is
100 bytes.
Fig. 9(a) and (b) shows the average energy consumption of TDMA, EA-TDMA, BMA, and E-BMA proto- cols
for the number of frames per round changing from l = 2 to
20. As the graphs reveal, for medium traffic and small
number of nodes, E-BMA performs the best among these four
WSN MAC protocols. In this case, the energy consumption
of TDMA is the highest, whereas the energy consumption of
EA-TDMA and BMA is in between. Since the number of
nodes is small, the contention overhead in BMA moderately
increases, and hence, its energy con- sumption is slightly
lower than EA-TDMA. The proposed E-BMA protocol has
the least contention overhead due to piggybacking.
Case 4: In this experiment, the impact of data packet size on the
overall energy dissipation has been measured. It is assumed that
the total number of nodes is N = 10, the transmission
probability is p = 0.4, and the number of frames is l = 2 per
round.

In Fig. 10(a) and (b), it is evident that the E-BMA


protocol is the most energy-conservative protocol among the
four protocols, whereas TDMA is the most energyconsuming protocol. However, when the data packet size is
less than 50 bytes, the energy dissipation of EA-TDMA is
similar to that of E-BMA. This is because the overhead of the
wakeup period in the EA-TDMA protocol diminishes with
the reduction in packet size. Although the energy
consumption of BMA is lower than that of TDMA and EATDMA, it is as worse as TDMA for packet sizes less than 50
bytes. The reason is the energy wastage due to idle listening in
the data transmission period of TDMA exceeds the contention
overhead of BMA when the packet size is small.
B. Transmission Latency
The maximum transmission latency of the TDMA, EATDMA, BMA, and E-BMA is presented for different numbers of
nodes and packet sizes.
Fig. 11(a) demonstrates that the maximum transmission latency in all four protocols increases with the number of nodes, as
the length of a frame is directly related to the number of nodes.
The packet transmission latency of TDMA and EA- TDMA is the
lowest among all four protocols. Due to the exis- tence of the
contention period in each frame, the transmission

Fig. 10. Energy dissipation of EA-TDMA, BMA, and TDMA protocols as a function of data packet size (N = 20, l = 10, p = 0.4).

Fig. 11. Transmission latency of EA-TDMA, BMA, and TDMA protocols for (a) different number of nodes and (b) different data packet sizes.

latency of BMA is slightly higher. The transmission latency of EBMA is twice that of BMA as each packet has to wait for one
additional frame duration in E-BMA. Fig. 11(b) demon- strates
that the maximum transmission latency in all protocols increases
with the data packet size, as the length of a frame is directly
related to the data packet size. Similar to the previous case, the
packet transmission latency of TDMA and EA-TDMA is the lowest.
The transmission latency of BMA is slightly higher, and the
transmission latency of E-BMA is twice that of BMA.
Summarizing the analytical and simulation results, the following can be concluded.

The E-BMA protocol is the most energy-efficient protocol,

particularly in the case of low and medium traffic applications. However, at extremely high traffic conditions, the EATDMA protocol performs better.
The E-BMA protocol is more energy efficient than the
other three protocols for any number of sensor nodes in a
cluster when the traffic load is medium.
The E-BMA protocol dissipates less energy than the other
three protocols, regardless of the number of frames per
round for medium traffic.
The performance of the E-BMA protocol is superior to
the other three protocols when data packet size is equal to or
greater than 50 bytes. For small data packet size (less than
50 bytes), the energy dissipation of EA-TDMA is
comparable with E-BMA.
Although the transmission latency of E-BMA is higher
than other protocols, it will not impact the system

performance significantly when the number of nodes is


small.
VII. CONCLUSION
The performance of rail vehicles running on railway tracks is
governed by the dynamic behaviors of railway wagons, particularly in the cases of lateral instability and track irregularities. In
this paper, considering the traffic conditions of the intended
application, an energy-efficient WSN MAC protocol has been
investigated to monitor typical dynamic behavior of railway
wagons. Simulation and mathematical models have been developed for the proposed E-BMA protocol, and its performance has
been compared with the EA-TDMA, TDMA, and BMA protocols
in terms of energy efficiency.
Analytical and simulation results show that the E-BMA and
EA-TDMA protocols outperform both the TDMA and BMA
protocols for all traffic conditions. The results revealed that the EBMA protocol outperformed other protocols for low to medium
traffic, whereas the EA-TDMA protocol outperformed the TDMA
and BMA protocols for medium to high traffic. The E-BMA
protocol is only outperformed by EA-TDMA and TDMA protocols
for high traffic.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors would like to thank the reviewers for their
valuable and informative suggestions that improved the quality of
this paper.

REFERENCES
[1] G. M. Shafiullah, A. Thompson, P. Wolfs, and S. Ali, "Energy-efficient
TDMA MAC protocol for wireless sensor networks applications," in Proc. 5th
ICECE, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 24-27, 2008, pp. 85-90.
[2] J. Smith, S. Russel, and M. Looi, "Security as a safety issue in rail
communications," in Proc. 8th Aust. Workshop SCS, Canberra, Australia, 2003,
pp. 79-88.
[3] V. K. Garg and R. V. Dukkipati, Dynamics of Railway Vehicle Systems.
New York: Academic, 1984.
[4] S. S. Bleakley, "Time frequency analysis of railway wagon body accelerations for a low-power autonomous device," M.S. thesis, Fac. Eng. Phys. Syst.,
Central Queensland Univ., Rockhampton, Australia, Oct. 2006.
[5] G. M. Shafiullah, A. Thompson, P. Wolfs, and S. Ali, "Predicting vertical
acceleration of railway wagons using regression algorithms," IEEE Trans. Intell.
Transp. Syst., vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 290-299, Jun. 2010.
[6] Y. Sato and M. Miwa, "Measurement and analysis of track irregularity on
super-high speed trainTRIPS," Int. J. Heavy Veh. Syst., vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 2233, May 2000.
[7] C. W. Tsang and T. K. Ho, "Optimal track access rights allocation for
agent negotiation in an open railway market," IEEE Trans. Intell. Transp. Syst.,
vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 68-82, Mar. 2008.
[8] M. Seifert, "Using modern technology to enhance rail security," in Proc.
Conf. Railway Eng., Melbourne, Australia, Apr./May 2006, pp. 430-436.
[9] C. P. E. Aboelela, W. Edberg, and V. Vokkarane, "Wireless sensor network
based model for secure railway operations," in Proc. 25th IEEE Perform.,
Comput. Commun. Conf., Apr. 2006, p. 6.
[10] S. M. S. L. Cheekiralla, "Development of a wireless sensor unit for
tunnel monitoring," M.S. thesis, Civil Environ. Eng., Mass. Inst. Technol.,
Cambridge, MA, Feb. 2004.
[11] I. F. Akyildiz, W. Su, Y. Sankarasubramaniam, and E. Cayirci, "A survey
of sensor networks," IEEE Commun. Mag., vol. 40, no. 8, pp. 102-114, Aug.
2002.
[12] P. J. Wolfs, S. Bleakley, S. T. Senini, and P. Thomas, "An autonomous,
low cost, distributed method for observing vehicle track interactions," in Proc.
Rail Conf., Atlanta, GA, Apr. 2006, pp. 279-286.
[13] P. Wolfs, S. Bleakley, S. Seninin, and P. Thomas, "A distributed low
cost device for the remote observation of track and vehicle interactions," in
Proc. Conf. Railway Eng., RTSA, Melbourne, Australia, Apr. 2006, pp. 280286.
[14] ADXL202E-Low-Cost-2 g Dual-Axis Accelerometer With Duty Cycle
OutputAnalog Devices, Analogue Devices. [Online]. Available: http://
www.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/pdf/48922/AD/ADXL202E.html
[15] D. S. S. Rhee and S. Liu, "Techniques for minimizing power consumption
in low data-rate wireless sensor networks," in Proc. Wireless Commun. Netw.
Conf., Mar. 2004, pp. 1727-1731.
[16] "IEEE P802.15 Working Group for Wireless Personal Area Networks
(WPANs)," IEEE Comput. Soc., New York, Jul. 2000, IEEE Tech. Rep.
[17] "IEEE Standard 15.4: Wireless Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications for Low-Rate Wireless Personal Area
Networks (LR-WPAN)," IEEE Comput. Soc., New York, 2003, IEEE Tech.
Rep.
[18] Low-Power RF System-on-Chip for ZigBee Applications: CC2431, .
[19] "An IEEE 802.15.4 complaint and ZigBee-ready 2.4 GHz RF transceiver,"
Microw. J., vol. 47, no. 6, pp. 130-135, Jun. 2004.
[20] B. Bougard, F. Catthoor, D. Daly, A. Chandrakasan, and W. Dehaene,
"Energy efficiency of the IEEE 802.15.4 Standard in dense wireless microsensor networks: Modeling and improvement perspectives," in Proc. Des.,
Autom. Test Europe Conf. Exhib., 2005, pp. 196-201.
[21] W. Ye, J. Heidemann, and D. Estrin, "An energy-efficient MAC protocol
for wireless sensor networks," in Proc. IEEE INFOCOM, New York, Jun.
2002, pp. 1567-1576.
[22] V. Raghunathan, C. Schurgers, S. Park, and M. B. Srivastava, "Energyaware wireless microsensor networks," IEEE Signal Process. Mag., vol. 19,
no. 2, pp. 40-50, Mar. 2002.

[23] W. B. Heinzelman, A. P. Chandrakasan, and H. Balakrishnan, "An


application-specific protocol architecture for wireless microsensor networks," IEEE Wireless Commun. Trans., vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 660-670, Oct. 2002.
[24] G. M. Shafiullah, A. Gyasi-Agyei, and P. Wolfs, "A survey of energyefficient and QoS-aware routing protocols for wireless sensor networks," in
Proc. Int. Joint Conf. CISSE, Dec. 2007, pp. 352-357.
[25] J. Li, "A bit-map assisted energy-efficient MAC scheme for wireless sensor networks," M.S. thesis, Elect. Eng., Mississippi State Univ., Starkville, MS,
May 2004.
[26] J. Li and G. Y. Lazarou, "A bit-map-assisted energy-efficient MAC
scheme for Wireless Sensor Networks," in Proc. 3rd Int. Symp. IPSN,
Berkeley, CA, Apr. 2004, pp. 55-60.
[27] Simjava Ver. 2.0, .