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Many multi-channel Media Access Control (MAC) protocols have been studied in the past decade. With an eye to hardware cost and device capability, many researchers have proposed protocols using only one transceiver, even though the potential capacity of a multiple-transceiver network is higher than that of one with a single transceiver. In this paper, we introduce a novel, cooperative, multi-channel MAC protocol that incorporates the concept of cooperative communication into multi-channel MAC protocols, enabling a single transceiver to carry out the work of multiple transceivers. The proposed protocol, based on the well-known Slotted Seeded Channel Hopping (SSCH) multi-channel protocol, requires only one transceiver per device. For use in an IEEE 802.11 multi-channel multi-hop wireless network environment, our approach selects a relay node to become a virtual node with an intermediate node. We also design a channel assignment mechanism to let the virtual node transmit and receive data simultaneously on different channels, thus improving network performance. Simulation results show that our protocol significantly outperforms the original SSCH in terms of network capacity and average packet delay.
Date of Conference: 4-8 July 2011