A Wireless Sensor MAC Protocol for Bursty Data Traffic

Luis Bernardo, Rodolfo Oliveira, Miguel Pereira, Mário Macedo, Paulo Pinto

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, P-2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Email: lflb@fct.unl.pt, rado@fct.unl.pt,  miguelpereira.pro@gmail.com, mmm@fct.unl.pt, pfp(@)fct.unl.pt

Abstract:        This paper proposes MH-MAC, a new MAC protocol for wireless sensor networks capable of handling applications that generate infrequent huge peaks of traffic. Existing protocols are not adapted to this kind of applications. Asynchronous protocols are energy efficient for the long inactive periods, but fail to cope with the bandwidth and latency requirements of the peak when more than two nodes are sending data to a common sink. Synchronous protocols that support contention free slots provide good throughput for handling the load peaks, but consume unnecessary energy maintaining clocks synchronized for very long idle periods. MH-MAC is a multimode hybrid protocol that can be configured by the application to run in asynchronous mode or in synchronous mode, with or without contention, providing the best possible trade-off. MH-MAC is a single hop MAC, which supports multi hop applications through a cross-layering API. The paper includes simulation results with the energy consumption, latency and throughput for the operation modes of MH-MAC, showing the asynchronous-synchronous trade-offs and the state transition overhead.

To appear in:

The 18th Annual IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC’07), Athens, Greece, 3-7 September 2007