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A Practical Multi-channel Media Access Control Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks

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3 Author(s)
Hieu Khac Le ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL ; Henriksson, D. ; Abdelzaher, T.

Despite availability of multiple orthogonal communication channels on common sensor network platforms, such as MicaZ motes, and despite multiple simulation-supported designs of multi-channel MAC protocols, most existing sensor networks use only one channel for communication, which is a source of bandwidth inefficiency. In this work, we design, implement, and experimentally evaluate a practical MAC protocol which utilizes multiple channels efficiently for WSNs. A control theory approach is used to dynamically allocate channels for each mote in a distributed manner transparently to the application and routing layers. The protocol assumes that sensor nodes are equipped with one half-duplex radio interface which is most common in current hardware platforms. The protocol does not require time synchronization among nodes and takes the channel switching cost of current hardware into account. Evaluation results on a real testbed show that it achieves a non-trivial bandwidth improvement using 802.15.4 radios in topologies which are typical in WSNs. The MAC protocol was implemented in TinyOS-2.x and packaged as a software component to enable seamless use with existing applications.

Published in:

Information Processing in Sensor Networks, 2008. IPSN '08. International Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-24 April 2008