Versatile low power media access for wireless sensor networks


We propose <i>B-MAC</i>, a carrier sense media access protocol for wireless sensor networks that provides a flexible interface to obtain ultra low power operation, effective collision avoidance, and high channel utilization. To achieve low power operation, <i>B-MAC</i> employs an adaptive preamble sampling scheme to reduce duty cycle and minimize idle listening. <i>B-MAC</i> supports on-the-fly reconfiguration and provides bidirectional interfaces for system services to optimize performance, whether it be for throughput, latency, or power conservation. We build an analytical model of a class of sensor network applications. We use the model to show the effect of changing <i>B-MAC</i>'s parameters and predict the behavior of sensor network applications. By comparing <i>B-MAC</i> to conventional 802.11-inspired protocols, specifically SMAC, we develop an experimental characterization of <i>B-MAC</i> over a wide range of network conditions. We show that <i>B-MAC</i>'s flexibility results in better packet delivery rates, throughput, latency, and energy consumption than S-MAC. By deploying a real world monitoring application with multihop networking, we validate our protocol design and model. Our results illustrate the need for flexible protocols to effectively realize energy efficient sensor network applications.

DOI: 10.1145/1031495.1031508
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@inproceedings{Polastre2004VersatileLP, title={Versatile low power media access for wireless sensor networks}, author={Joseph Polastre and Jason L. Hill and David E. Culler}, booktitle={SenSys}, year={2004} }