This paper presents a novel energy-efficient distributed self-organized pulse switching architecture with a cell based
event localization for wireless sensor and actuator network applications. The key idea of this pulse switching architecture
is to abstract a single pulse, as opposed to multi-bit packets, as the information exchange mechanism. Unlike multi-bit
packet communication, the proposed pulse switching architecture is based on pulse communications where a node either
transmits a pulse or keeps silent at every time unit. Specifically, an event can be coded as a single pulse in a specific time
unit with respect to the global clock. Then the pulse is transported multi-hop while preserving the event’s localization
information in the form of temporal pulse position representing its originating cell, destination cell and next-hop cell.
The proposed distributed pulse switching is shown to be energy-efficient compared to traditional packet switching
especially for binary event sensing and actuation applications. Binary event sensing and actuation with conventional
packet transport can be prohibitively energy-inefficient due to the communication, processing, and buffering overheads
of the large number of bits within a packet’s data, header, and preambles. This paper presents a joint MAC and Routing
architecture for self-organized distributed pulse switching. Through simulation experiments, it is shown that pulse
switching can be an effective distributed means for event based networking in wireless sensor and actuator networks,
which can potentially replace the packet transport when the information to be transported is binary in nature.