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In this paper, we present the Intelligent Hybrid MAC (IH-MAC), a novel low power with quality of service guaranteed medium access control protocol for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). The IH-MAC achieves high energy efficiency under wide range of traffic load. It ensures shorter latency to critical and delay-sensitive packets. The IH-MAC protocol achieves high channel utilization during high traffic load without compromising energy efficiency. The 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. The scheduling is done in the IH-MAC with a novel decentralized approach where the nodes locally use the clock arithmetic to find the time slot, allocated for it. Furthermore, the IH-MAC uses Request-To-Send, Clear-To-send handshakes with methods for adapting the transmit power to the minimum level necessary to reach the intended neighbor. Thus, the IH-MAC reduces energy consumption by suitably varying the transmit power. The IH-MAC also uses the concept of parallel transmission that further reduces delay. The analytical and simulation results corroborate the theoretical idea, and show the efficiency of our proposed protocol.
Date of Publication: June 2013