Skip to Main Content
We consider cooperative data multicast in a wireless network with the objective to maximize the network lifetime. We present the maximum lifetime accumulative broadcast (MLAB) algorithm that specifies the nodes' order of transmission and transmit power levels. We prove that the solution found by MLAB is optimal but not necessarily unique. The power levels found by the algorithm ensure that the lifetimes of the active relays are the same, causing them to fail simultaneously. For the same battery levels at all the nodes, the optimum transmit powers become the same. The simplicity of the solution is made possible by allowing the nodes that are out of the transmission range of a transmitter to collect the energy of unreliably received overheard signals. As a message is forwarded through the network, nodes will have multiple opportunities to reliably receive the message by collecting energy during each retransmission. We refer to this cooperative strategy as accumulative multicast. Cooperative multicast not only increases the multicast energy-efficiency by allowing for more energy radiated in the network to be collected, but also facilitates load balancing by relaxing the constraint that a relay has to transmit with power sufficient to reach its most disadvantaged child. When the message is to be delivered to all network nodes this cooperative strategy becomes accumulative broadcast (Maric and Yates, 2002). Simulation results demonstrate that cooperative broadcast significantly increased network lifetime compared with conventional broadcast. We also present the distributed MLAB algorithm for accumulative broadcast that determines the transmit power levels locally at the nodes.