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In this paper, we present Intelligent Hybrid MAC (IH-MAC), a novel low power with minimal packet delay medium access control protocol for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). IH-MAC achieves high energy efficiency under wide range of traffic load. It ensures high channel utilization during high traffic load without compromising energy efficiency. IH-MAC does it by using the strength of CSMA and TDMA approach with intelligence. The novel idea behind the IH-MAC is that, it uses both the broadcast scheduling and link scheduling. Depending on the network loads the IH-MAC protocol dynamically switches from broadcast scheduling to link scheduling and vice-versa in order to achieve better efficiency. Furthermore, IH-MAC uses Request-To-Send (RTS), Clear-To-send (CTS) handshakes with methods for adapting the transmit power to the minimum level necessary to reach the intended neighbor with a given BER target or packet loss probability. Thus IH-MAC reduces energy consumption by suitably varying the transmit power. The analytical results corroborate the theoretical idea, and show the efficiency of our proposed protocol. Considering the importance of a unique MAC protocol for WSNs, we propose a study for standardization work in the ITU as an initiative which can lead to its rapid adaptation.
Date of Conference: 12-14 Dec. 2011