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MaxMAC: a Maximally Traffic-Adaptive MAC Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2010
Author Philipp Hurni, Torsten Braun,
Project Traffic Adaptivity in Wireless Sensor Networks
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings EWSN 2010
Place Coimbra
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-11917-0_19


Energy efficiency is a major concern in the design of Wire- less Sensor Networks (WSNs) and their communication protocols. As the radio transceiver typically accounts for a major portion of a WSN node’s power consumption, researchers have proposed Energy-Efficient Medium Access (E 2 -MAC) protocols that switch the radio transceiver off for a major part of the time. Such protocols typically trade off energy- efficiency versus classical quality of service parameters (throughput, la- tency, reliability). Today’s E 2 -MAC protocols are able to deliver little amounts of data with a low energy footprint, but introduce severe re- strictions with respect to throughput and latency. Regrettably, they yet fail to adapt to varying traffic load at run-time. This paper presents MaxMAC, an E 2 -MAC protocol that targets at achieving maximal adaptivity with respect to throughput and latency. By adaptively tuning essential parameters at run-time, the protocol reaches the throughput and latency of energy-unconstrained CSMA in high- traffic phases, while still exhibiting a high energy-efficiency in periods of sparse traffic. The paper compares the protocol against a selection of today’s E 2 -MAC protocols and evaluates its advantages and drawbacks.