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IEEE 802.11 CSMA/CA has been widely deployed as the primary MAC protocol for ad hoc networks and wireless LANs. It was designed with the assumption that nodes would follow proper operation of the protocol. Nodes, however, may choose to deviate in order to either obtain an unfair share of the available bandwidth or disrupt the services of the network. Accordingly, a misbehavior rooted at the MAC layer can be classified as selfish or malicious behavior. This article surveys the research activities related to MAC layer misbehavior; based on the operating principles and the objective of misbehaving nodes, we classify MAC layer misbehavior and present descriptions for each solution. We conclude with a brief summary of the key ideas and a general direction for future work.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2008