Paper: Task Scheduling for Simultaneous IoT Sensing and Energy Harvesting: A Survey and Critical Analysis

November 10th, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has important applications in our daily lives including health and fitness tracking, environmental monitoring and transportation. However, sensor nodes in IoT suffer from the limited lifetime of batteries resulting from their finite energy availability.

A promising solution is to harvest energy from environmental sources, such as solar, kinetic, thermal and radio frequency, for perpetual and continuous operation of IoT sensor nodes. In addition to energy generation, recently energy harvesters have been used for context detection, eliminating the need for additional activity sensors (e.g. accelerometers), saving space, cost, and energy consumption.

Using energy harvesters for simultaneous sensing and energy harvesting enables energy positive sensing — an important and emerging class of sensors, which harvest higher energy than required for signal acquisition and the additional energy can be used to power other components of the system.

Although simultaneous sensing and energy harvesting is an important step forward towards autonomous self-powered sensor nodes, the energy and information availability can be still intermittent, unpredictable and temporally misaligned with various computational tasks on the sensor node.

This paper provides a comprehensive survey on task scheduling algorithms for the emerging class of energy harvesting-based sensors (i.e., energy positive sensors) to achieve the sustainable operation of IoT. We discuss inherent differences between conventional sensing and energy positive sensing and provide an extensive critical analysis for devising new task scheduling algorithms incorporating this new class of sensors. Finally, we outline future research directions towards the implementation of autonomous and self-powered IoT.

Fig. 1. Energy harvesters can be used as context sensors as well as source of energy in IoT.

Muhammad Moid Sandhu, Sara Khalifa, Raja Jurdak, Marius Portmann. Task Scheduling for Simultaneous IoT Sensing and Energy Harvesting: A Survey and Critical Analysis. arXiv:2004.05728v1 [eess.SP] 13 Apr 2020

Download the full paper here.

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