Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering


The Internet of things (IoT) is expected to connect physical objects and end-users using technologies such as wireless sensor networks and radio frequency identification (RFID). In addition, it will employ a wireless multi-hop backhaul to transfer data collected by a myriad of devices to users or applications such as digital twins operating in a Metaverse. A critical issue is that the number of packets collected and transferred to the Internet is bounded by limited network resources such as bandwidth and energy. In this respect, IoT networks have adopted technologies such as time division multiple access (TDMA), signal interference cancellation (SIC) and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) in order to increase network capacity. Another fundamental issue is energy. To this end, researchers have exploited radio frequency (RF) energy-harvesting technologies to prolong the lifetime of energy constrained sensors and smart devices. Specifically, devices with RF energy harvesting capabilities can rely on ambient RF sources such as access points, television towers, and base stations. Further, an operator may deploy dedicated power beacons that serve as RF-energy sources. Apart from that, in order to reduce energy consumption, devices can adopt ambient backscattering communication technologies. Advantageously, backscattering allows devices to communicate using negligible amount of energy by modulating ambient RF signals.

To address the aforementioned issues, this thesis first considers data collection in a two-tier MIMO ambient RF energy-harvesting network. The first tier consists of routers with MIMO capability and a set of source-destination pairs/flows. The second tier consists of energy harvesting devices that rely on RF transmissions from routers for energy supply. The problem is to determine a minimum-length TDMA link schedule that satisfies the traffic demand of source-destination pairs and energy demand of energy harvesting devices. It formulates the problem as a linear program (LP), and outlines a heuristic to construct transmission sets that are then used by the said LP. In addition, it outlines a new routing metric that considers the energy demand of energy harvesting devices to cope with routing requirements of IoT networks. The simulation results show that the proposed algorithm on average achieves 31.25% shorter schedules as compared to competing schemes. In addition, the said routing metric results in link schedules that are at most 24.75% longer than those computed by the LP.

FoR codes (2008)



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.