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This paper presents two algorithms, namely clustered simple polling and neighbor relay polling, for solving the typical "silent node" problem in automatic meter reading (AMR) systems using power-line communications (PLC)-access networks. These schemes are tested through computer simulations to be both effective and efficient in overcoming the "silent node" problem in AMR systems. The construction of the PLC-access network model in this paper is based on the actual structure of the PLC-access networks of Singapore public residential buildings. Also, a two-state transition Markov model is used to simulate a meter unit with such a "silent node" problem in a PLC network. The processing time model is established on a meter topology of three-level clustering. By using these models for our computer simulations, the performance of our proposed schemes can be evaluated in terms of reliability and efficiency.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2008