DistributedHART: A Distributed Real-Time Scheduling System for WirelessHART Networks


Industry 4.0 is a new industry trend which relies on data driven business model to set the productivity requirements of the cyber physical system. To meet this requirement, Industry 4.0 cyber physical systems need to be highly scalable, adaptive, real-time, and reliable. Recent successful industrial wireless standards such as WirelessHART appeared as a feasible approach for such cyber physical systems. For reliable and real-time communication in highly unreliable environments, they adopt a high degree of redundancy. While a high degree of redundancy is crucial to real-time control, it causes a huge waste of energy, bandwidth, and time under a centralized approach, and are therefore less suitable for scalability and handling network dynamics. To address these challenges, we propose DistributedHART - a distributed real-time scheduling system for WirelessHART networks. The essence of our approach is to adopt local (node-level) scheduling through a time window allocation among the nodes that allows each node to schedule its transmissions using a real-time scheduling policy locally and online. DistributedHART obviates the need of creating and disseminating a central global schedule in our approach, and thereby significantly reducing resource usage and enhancing the scalability. To our knowledge, it is the first distributed real-time multi-channel scheduler for WirelessHART. We have implemented DistributedHART and experimented on a 130-node testbed. Our testbed experiments as well as simulations show at least 85% less energy consumption in DistributedHART compared to existing centralized approach while ensuring similar schedulability.

Meeting Name

25th IEEE Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium, RTAS 2019 (2019: Apr. 16-18, Montreal, Canada)


Computer Science

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center

Second Research Center/Lab

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

Distributed Algorithms; Industrial Internet of Things; Real Time scheduling; Schedulability Analysis; Wireless Sensor Actuator Networks; WirelessHART

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2019 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2019