mca 11(1): e5

Research Article

A decentralized scheduling algorithm for time synchronized channel hopping

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/icst.trans.mca.2011.e5,
        author={Andrew Tinka and Thomas Watteyne and Kristofer S. J. Pister and Alexandre M. Bayen},
        title={A decentralized scheduling algorithm for time synchronized channel hopping},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Mobile Communications and Applications},
        keywords={decentralized scheduling, mobile ad hoc networks, simulation, time synchronized channel hopping},
  • Andrew Tinka
    Thomas Watteyne
    Kristofer S. J. Pister
    Alexandre M. Bayen
    Year: 2011
    A decentralized scheduling algorithm for time synchronized channel hopping
    DOI: 10.4108/icst.trans.mca.2011.e5
Andrew Tinka1,*, Thomas Watteyne2,3, Kristofer S. J. Pister2, Alexandre M. Bayen4
  • 1: Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 2: Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 3: Currently with Dust Networks, Hayward, CA, USA
  • 4: Systems Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
*Contact email:


Time Synchronized Channel Hopping (TSCH) is an existing Medium Access Control scheme which enables robust communication through channel hopping and high data rates through synchronization. It is based on a time-slotted architecture, and its correct functioning depends on a schedule which is typically computed by a central node. This paper presents, to our knowledge, the first scheduling algorithm for TSCH networks which both is distributed and which copes with mobile nodes. Two variations on scheduling algorithms are presented. Aloha-based scheduling allocates one channel for broadcasting advertisements for new neighbors. Reservation- based scheduling augments Aloha-based scheduling with a dedicated timeslot for targeted advertisements based on gossip information. A mobile ad hoc motorized sensor network with frequent connectivity changes is studied, and the performance of the two proposed algorithms is assessed. This performance analysis uses both simulation results and the results of a field deployment of floating wireless sensors in an estuarial canal environment. Reservation-based scheduling performs significantly better than Aloha-based scheduling, suggesting that the improved network reactivity is worth the increased algorithmic complexity and resource consumption.