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A Survey On MAC Protocols for Wireless Adhoc Networks with Beamforming Antennas

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2 Author(s)
Bazan, O. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Ryerson Univ., Toronto, ON, Canada ; Jaseemuddin, M.

The beamforming antenna technology is a promising solution to many challenges facing wireless ad hoc networks. Beamforming antennas have the ability to increase the spatial reuse, improve the transmission reliability, extend the transmission range and/or save the power consumption. If they are effectively used, they can significantly improve the network capacity, lifetime, connectivity and security. However, traditional Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols fail to exploit the potential benefits due to the unique characteristics of wireless ad hoc networks with beamforming antennas. To that end, numerous MAC protocols have been designed over the years to harness the offered potential. In this paper, we survey the literature on MAC protocols proposed for wireless ad hoc networks with beamforming antennas during the last decade. We discuss the main beamforming-related challenges facing the medium access control in ad hoc networks. We present taxonomy of the MAC protocols proposed in the literature based on their mode of operation and the mechanisms used to address the challenges. In addition, we provide a qualitative comparison of the protocols highlighting their features, benefits and requirements. Finally, we provide directions for possible future work.

Published in:

Communications Surveys & Tutorials, IEEE  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 2 )