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Collisions are a source of inefficiency in contention-based MAC protocols that should be reduced to a minimum. We show that concurrent multiple access to a communication channel will, however, not necessarily lead to a collision with undesirable effects. Rather, we demonstrate that it is possible for a receiver to hear the bitwise "or" of the transmissions of multiple synchronized senders within communication range. This unconventional communication model allows the efficient implementation of a number of basic operations that serve as a foundation for BitMAC: a deterministic, collision-free, and robust MAC protocol that is tailored to dense sensor networks, where nodes report sensory data over multiple hops to a sink.
Date of Conference: 31 Jan.-2 Feb. 2005