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Heartbeat-Driven Medium-Access Control for Body Sensor Networks

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2 Author(s)
Huaming Li ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Michigan Technol. Univ., Houghton, MI, USA ; Jindong Tan

In this paper, a novel time division multiple access based MAC protocol designed for body sensor networks (BSNs) is presented. H-medium-access control (MAC) aims to improve BSNs energy efficiency by exploiting heartbeat rhythm information, instead of using periodic synchronization beacons, to perform time synchronization. Heartbeat rhythm is inherent in every human body and observable in various biosignals. Biosensors in a BSN can extract the heartbeat rhythm from their own sensory data by detecting waveform peaks. All rhythms represented by peak sequences are naturally synchronized since they are driven by the same source, i.e., the heartbeat. Following the rhythm, biosensors can achieve time synchronization without having to turn on their radio to receive periodic timing information from a central controller, so that energy cost for time synchronization can be completely eliminated and the lifetime of the network can be prolonged. An active synchronization recovery scheme is also developed, including two resynchronization approaches. The algorithms are simulated using the discrete event simulator OMNet ++ with real-world data from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Boston's Beth Israel Hospital multiparameter database Multiparameter Intelligent Monitoring for Intensive Care. The results show that H-MAC can prolong the network life dramatically.

Published in:

Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 1 )