9th International Conference on Body Area Networks

Research Article

Energy Savings via Harnessing Partial Packets in Body Area Networks

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/icst.bodynets.2014.258226,
        author={Georgios Angelopoulos and Anantha Chandrakasan and Muriel Medard},
        title={Energy Savings via Harnessing Partial Packets in Body Area Networks},
        proceedings={9th International Conference on Body Area Networks},
        keywords={partial packets reception wireless sensor networks energy efficient communications channel coding erasure coding},
  • Georgios Angelopoulos
    Anantha Chandrakasan
    Muriel Medard
    Year: 2014
    Energy Savings via Harnessing Partial Packets in Body Area Networks
    DOI: 10.4108/icst.bodynets.2014.258226
Georgios Angelopoulos1,*, Anantha Chandrakasan1, Muriel Medard1
  • 1: MIT
*Contact email: georgios@mit.edu


This work considers the incorporation, implications and potential energy savings of partial packet recovery schemes in Body Area Networks (BANs). Received packets which have not been fully corrected by the physical layer, called partial, are discarded by the vast majority of BAN protocols, as opposed to valid packets, which satisfy the error detection check and are propagated to higher layers. In typical networks using ARQ protocols, dropping partial packets results in retransmissions. However, because these packets contain useful information, partial packet recovery schemes have been proposed with demonstrated throughput and reliability benefits, targeting mostly wireless LANs. In order to quantify the potential energy benefits of harnessing partial packets in BANs, we use an experimental setup with four sensors mounted on a human body, transmitting information to a receiving node in a typical office environment. By precisely modeling the state transitions and energy consumption of sensors, we compare the efficiency of a baseline ARQ protocol against a scheme which leverages information in partial packets. Our results indicate that exploiting partial packets reduces on average the energy consumption of our sensors by 8-20%. The energy savings are pronounced in challenged channel conditions of high PER, where they can be up to 50%.