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This paper considers cross-layer medium access control (MAC) protocol design in wireless networks. Taking a mutually interactive MAC-PHY perspective, we aim to design an MAC protocol that is in favor of the physical (PHY) layer information transmission, and the improved PHY, in turn, can improve the MAC performance. More specifically, we propose a novel MAC protocol, named hybrid ALOHA, which makes it possible for collision-free channel estimation and simultaneous multiuser transmission. The underlying argument is as follows: As long as good channel estimation can be achieved, advanced signal processing does allow effective signal separation given that the multiuser interference is limited to a certain degree. Comparing with traditional ALOHA, there are more than one pilot subslots in each hybrid ALOHA slot. Each user randomly selects a pilot subslot for training sequence transmission. Therefore, it is possible for different users to transmit their training sequences over nonoverlapping pilot subslots and achieving collision-free channel estimation. Relying mainly on the general multipacket reception (MPR) model, in this paper, quantitative analysis is conducted for the proposed hybrid ALOHA protocol in terms of throughput, stability, as well as delay behavior. It is observed that significant performance improvement can be achieved in comparison with the traditional ALOHA protocol based either on the collision model or the MPR model.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2007