Abstract Power consumption is an interesting challenge to prolong the operational lifetime on IEEE 802.15/ZigBee Sensor Network (ZSN). ZigBee routers closer to the ZigBee coordinator (ZC) have a larger forwarding traffic burden and consume more energy than devices further away from the ZC. The whole operational lifetime of ZSN is deteriorated because of such an uneven node power consumption patterns, leading to what is known as an energy hole problem (EHP) around the ZC. In this article the average load traffic pattern for the ZSN has been explored and derived in terms of closed-form mathematical expressions. Also we propose a novel power-saving scheme to alleviate the EHP based on the N-policy M/G/1 queuing model. Having a counter (N) that controls the triggering radio server can reduce power consumption of a generic node. With little management cost, the proposed queue-based power-saving technique can be applied to prolong the lifetime of sensor network economically and effectively. For the proposed queue-based model, mathematical framework on performance measures has been formulated. Focusing on ZigBee routers deployed at the innermost shell of ZSN, numerical and network simulation results validate that the proposed approach indeed provides a feasibly cost-effective approach for lifetime elongation of wireless sensor networks.
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