EERS: Energy-efficient reference node selection algorithm for synchronization in industrial wireless sensor networks

Mahmoud Elsharief, Mohamed A. Abd El-Gawad, Haneul Ko, Sangheon Pack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Time synchronization is an essential issue in industrial wireless sensor networks (IWSNs). It assists perfect coordinated communications among the sensor nodes to preserve battery power. Generally, time synchronization in IWSNs has two major aspects of energy consumption and accuracy. In the literature, the energy consumption has not received much attention in contrast to the accuracy. In this paper, focusing on the energy consumption aspect, we introduce an energy-efficient reference node selection (EERS) algorithm for time synchronization in IWSNs. It selects and schedules a minimal sequence of connected reference nodes that are responsible for spreading timing messages. EERS achieves energy consumption synchronization by reducing the number of transmitted messages among the sensor nodes. To evaluate the performance of EERS, we conducted extensive experiments with Arduino Nano RF sensors and revealed that EERS achieves considerably fewer messages than previous techniques, robust time synchronization (R-Sync), fast scheduling and accurate drift compensation for time synchronization (FADS), and low power scheduling for time synchronization protocols (LPSS). In addition, simulation results for a large sensor network of 450 nodes demonstrate that EERS reduces the whole number of transmitted messages by 52%, 30%, and 13% compared to R-Sync, FADS, and LPSS, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4095
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (Nos. 2020R1A2C3006786 and 2019R1C1C1004352).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Energy-efficiency
  • Industrial wireless sensor networks
  • Reference node selection
  • Time synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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