Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Anu G. Bourgeois - Chair

Second Advisor

Yi Pan

Third Advisor

Alex Zelikovsky

Fourth Advisor

Johannes Hattingh


IEEE 802.15.4 is a standard used for low rate personal area networks (PANs). It offers device level connectivity in applications with limited ower and relaxed throughput requirements. Devices with IEEE 802.15.4 technology can be used in many potential applications, such as home networking, industry/environments monitoring, healthcare equipments, etc, due to its extremely low power features. Although the superframe beacons play the key role in synchronizing channel access in IEEE 802.15.4, they are sources for energy inefficiency. This research focuses on exploring how to optimize the beacons, and designing novel schemes to distribute the information that are supposed to be delivered to a subset of PAN devices. In this work, an acknowledgement based scheme is proposed to reduce the energy consumption in the distribution of guaranteed time slot (GTS) descriptors. Based on the observation that the superframe beacon frame has global impact on all PAN devices, an energy-efficient channel reservation scheme is presented to deliver the information (GTS descriptors and pending addresses). In addition, the problem of channel underutilization is studied in the contention free period. To address the problem, a new GTS allocation scheme is proposed to improve the bandwidth utilization.