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F. Righetti, C. Vallati, S. K. Das, G. Anastasi, "An Evaluation of the 6TiSCH Distributed Resource Management Mode" ACM Trans. Internet Things (June 2020)

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Abstract: The IETF is currently defining the 6TiSCH architecture for the Industrial Internet of Things to ensure reliable and timely communication. 6TiSCH relies on the IEEE TSCH MAC protocol and defines different scheduling approaches for managing TSCH cells, including a distributed (neighbor-to-neighbor) scheduling scheme, where cells are allocated by nodes in a cooperative way. Each node leverages a Scheduling Function (SF) to compute the required number of cells, and the 6top (6P) protocol to negotiate them with neighbors. Currently, the Minimal Scheduling Function (MSF) is under consideration for standardization. However, multiple SFs are expected to be used in real deployments, in order to accommodate the requirements of different use cases. In this article, we carry out a comprehensive analysis of 6TiSCH distributed scheduling to assess its performance under realistic conditions. Firstly, we derive an analytical model to assess the 6P protocol, and we show that 6P transactions take a long time to complete and may also fail. Then, we evaluate the performance of MSF and other distributed SFs through simulations and real experiments. The results show that their performance is affected by the failure of 6P transactions and the instability of the routing protocol, which may lead to congestion from which the network is unable to recover. Finally, we propose a new SF (E-OTF) and show, through simulations and real experiments, that it can effectively improve the overall performance, by allowing nodes to quickly recover from congestion.


Keywords: 6TiSCH, 6top, distributed scheduling function, MSF, OTF, RPL

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