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Medium access control schemes for flat mobile wireless sensor networks

Medium access control schemes for flat mobile wireless sensor networks

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One aspect of mobile wireless sensor networks (MWSNs) is the medium access control (MAC) protocol, which is critical in terms of reliability, delay and energy consumption. This work begins with a literature review, showing that the majority of MWSN MACs are designed for hierarchical architectures, demonstrating that there is a lack of MACs intended for flat architecture MWSNs. Subsequently, the authors propose three new MAC protocols, uniquely designed for flat MWSNs. Explicitly, the proposed MACs are carrier sense multiple access with dedicated slots, network division multiple access (NDMA) with collision avoidance and NDMA with dedicated slots, which are specifically designed to work with the state-of-the-art location aware sensor routing protocol. Extensive modelling and simulation are done in dense and sparse scenarios with varying traffic levels to evaluate the impact of the proposed from the perspective of both the link and network layers. Given the uniqueness of the proposed protocols, four well-known MACs are also included to give a performance reference to the results. The MAC results show that the collision-free protocols give the best reliability and that Global time division multiple access consistently yields the highest level of throughput. This highlights the importance of taking into account both MAC and routing during the design process.

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