Pardeep Kumar, Mesut Günes, Qasim Mushtaq, Bastian Blywis,
A Real-Time and Energy-Efficient MAC Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks,
International Journal of Ultra Wideband Communications and Systems (IJUWBCS), Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 128 - 142, 2009.

Abstract: Energy saving has been the primal issue in designing medium access control (MAC) protocols for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). However, with the advent of new micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technologies and recently thermopowered and solar-powered sensor nodes - where nodes operate virtually for an unlimited time period - the research community is set to experience many diverse directions in this area. Factors like timeliness, scalability, synchronization, adaptivity, and reliability will play their part in the near future. This paper discusses AREA-MAC, a MAC protocol specially designed for real-time and energy-efficient WSN applications. AREA-MAC reduces latency and energy consumption of nodes by using low power listening (LPL) technique with short preamble messages. Other protocols like B-MAC use long preamble messages that cause higher latency, energy consumption, and control overhead. Moreover, AREA-MAC provides reasonable trade-offs between vital parameters such as system fairness, throughput, scalability, and adaptability to traffic conditions. Additionally, to minimize network latency and to maximize its lifetime, two application-based optimization problems are formulated. The analytical and simulation results show a better performance of AREA-MAC in terms of delay, energy-efficiency, throughput, and overhearing over the protocols which use LPL with long preambles.


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