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This paper investigates the energy cost of control packets in contention-based medium access control protocols in wireless sensor networks. Control packets are useful to avoid collision and overhearing, but cost a significant amount of energy. Therefore, whether or not to apply control packets is a trade-off. It will be shown that this trade-off mainly depends on the packet arrival rate at individual nodes, the transmission rate, the duty cycle and the average number of active neighbors in the network.
Date of Conference: 1-3 Sept. 2010