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Aloha-Based MAC Protocols with Collision Avoidance for Underwater Acoustic Networks

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3 Author(s)
Chirdchoo, N. ; Nat. Univ. of Singapore, Singapore ; Wee-Seng Soh ; Kee Chaing Chua

Unlike terrestrial networks that mainly rely on radio waves for communications, underwater networks utilize acoustic waves, which have comparatively lower loss and longer range in underwater environments. However, the use of acoustic waves pose a new research challenge in the networking area. While existing network schemes for terrestrial sensor networks are mainly designed for negligible propagation delay and high data rate, underwater acoustic communications are characterized by high propagation delay and low data rate. These terrestrial schemes, when directly applied to the underwater channel, will under-utilize its already limited capacity. We investigate how the underwater channel's throughput may be enhanced via medium access control (MAC) techniques that consider its unique characteristics. Specifically, we study the performance of Aloha-based protocols in underwater networks, and propose two enhanced schemes, namely, Aloha with collision avoidance (Aloha-CA), and Aloha with advance notification (Aloha-AN), which are capable of using the long propagation delays to their advantage. Simulation results have shown that both schemes can boost the throughput by reducing the number of collisions, and, for the case of Aloha-AN, also by significantly reducing the number of unproductive transmissions.

Published in:

INFOCOM 2007. 26th IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications. IEEE

Date of Conference:

6-12 May 2007