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An intermittent transmission control in the MAC layer protocol is very important for managing the energy consumption of wireless sensor networks. This research focuses on an intermittent receiver-driven data transmission (IRDT) protocol in which communication starts when multiple receiver nodes transmit their own IDs intermittently and a sender node receives them. This method aims at prolonging network life time under the conditions that data-generating frequency is comparatively small. In this paper, we clarify the performance characteristics of this method by comparing it with the low power listing (LPL) method, which is a sender-driven protocol. By simulation, we show that IRDT can result in a higher reduction of energy consumption than LPL, especially at small loads. We also propose an improved IRDT scheme. While all nodes have equal and constant intermittent intervals in the original IRDT, the improved IRDT changes each node's intermittent intervals adaptively. This achieves more than 98% packet collection ratio and 50% lower power consumption than adaptive LPL, which also sets the intermittent interval adaptively.