Theses Doctoral

Resource Allocation for the Internet of Everything: From Energy Harvesting Tags to Cellular Networks

Margolies, Robert Seth

In the near future, objects equipped with heterogeneous devices such as sensors, actuators, and tags, will be able to interact with each other and cooperate to achieve common goals. These networks are termed the Internet of Things (IoT) and have applications in healthcare, smart buildings, assisted living, manufacturing, supply chain management, and intelligent transportation. The IoT vision is enabled by ubiquitous wireless communications and there are numerous resource allocation challenges to efficiently connect each device to the network. In this thesis, we study wireless resource allocation problems that arise in the IoT, namely in the areas of the energy harvesting tags, termed the Internet of Tags (IoTags), and in cellular networks (mobile and cognitive).
First, we present our experience designing and developing Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tags (EnHANTs). The prototypes harvest indoor light energy using custom organic solar cells, communicate and form multihop networks using ultra-low-power Ultra- Wideband Impulse Radio (UWB-IR) transceivers, and dynamically adapt their communications and networking patterns to the energy harvesting and battery states. Using our custom designed small scale testbed, we evaluate energy-adaptive networking algorithms spanning the protocol stack (link, network, and flow control). Throughout the evaluation of experiments, we highlight numerous phenomena which are typically difficult to capture in simulations and nearly impossible to model in analytical work. We believe that these lessons would be useful for the designers of many different types of energy harvesters and energy harvesting adaptive networks.
Based on the lessons learned from EnHANTs, we present Power Aware Neighbor Discovery Asynchronously (Panda), a Neighbor Discovery (ND) protocol optimized for networks of energy harvesting nodes. To enable object tracking and monitoring applications for IoTags, Panda is designed to efficiently identify nodes which are within wireless communication range of one another. By accounting for numerous hardware constraints which are typically ignored (i.e., energy costs for transmission/reception, and transceiver state switching times/costs), we formulate a power budget to guarantee perpetual ND. Finally, via testbed evaluation utilizing Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) energy harvesting nodes, we demonstrate experimentally that Panda outperforms existing protocols by a factor of 2-3x.
We then consider Proportional Fair (PF) cellular scheduling algorithms for mobile users, These users experience slow-fading wireless channels while traversing roads, train tracks, bus routes, etc. We leverage the predicable mobility on these routes and present the Predictive Finite-horizon PF Scheduling ((PF)2S) Framework. We collect extensive channel measurement results from a 3G network and characterize mobility-induced channel state trends. We show that a user’s channel state is highly reproducible and leverage that to develop a data rate prediction mechanism. Our trace-based simulations of the (PF)2S Framework indicate that the framework can increase the throughput by 15%–55% compared to traditional PF schedulers, while improving fairness.
Finally, we study fragmentation within a probability model of combinatorial structures. Our model does not refer to any particular application. Yet, it is applicable to dynamic spectrum access networks which can be used as the wireless access technology for numerous IoT applications. In dynamic spectrum access networks, users share the wireless resource and compete to transmit and receive data, and accordingly have specific bandwidth and residence-time requirements. We prove that the spectrum tends towards states of complete fragmentation. That is, for every request for j > 1 sub-channels, nearly all size-j requests are allocated j mutually disjoint sub-channels. In a suite of four theorems, we show how this result specializes for certain classes of request-size distributions. We also show that the delays in reaching the inefficient states of complete fragmentation can be surprisingly long. The results of this chapter provide insights into the fragmentation process and, in turn, into those circumstances where defragmentation is worth the cost it incurs.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Electrical Engineering
Thesis Advisors
Zussman, Gil
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 22, 2015