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As the use of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) becomes widespread, node density tends to increase. This poses a new challenge for medium access control (MAC) protocol design. Although traditional MAC protocols achieve low-power operation, they use only a single channel which limits their performance. Several multi-channel MAC protocols for WSNs have been recently proposed. One of the key observations is that these protocols are less energy efficient than single-channel MAC protocols under light traffic conditions. In this paper, we propose an energy efficient multichannel MAC protocol, Y-MAC, for WSNs. Our goal is to achieve both high performance and energy efficiency under diverse traffic conditions. In contrast to most of previous multi-channel MAC protocols for WSNs, we implemented Y-MAC on a real sensor node platform and conducted extensive experiments to evaluate its performance. Experimental results show that Y-MAC is energy efficient and maintains high performance under high-traffic conditions.
Date of Conference: 22-24 April 2008