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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Energy-Efficient Reservation-Based Medium Access Control Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks

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  • 1Email author,
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  • 1
EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20102010:878412

  • Received: 13 April 2010
  • Accepted: 16 August 2010
  • Published:


In Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), a robust and energy-efficient Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol is required for high energy efficiency in harsh operating conditions, where node and link failures are common. This paper presents the design of a novel MAC protocol for low-power WSNs. The developed MAC protocol minimizes the energy overhead of idle time and collisions by strict frame synchronization and slot reservation. It combines a dynamic bandwidth adjustment mechanism, multi-cluster-tree network topology, and a network channel allowing rapid and low-energy neighbor discoveries. The protocol achieves high scalability by employing frequency and time division between clusters. Performance analysis shows that the MAC protocol outperforms current state-of-the-art protocols in energy efficiency, and the energy overhead compared to an ideal MAC protocol is only 2.85% to 27.1%. The high energy efficiency is achieved in both leaf and router nodes. The models and the feasibility of the protocol were verified by simulations and with a full-scale prototype implementation.


  • Energy Efficiency
  • Wireless Sensor Network
  • Medium Access Control
  • Idle Time
  • Medium Access Control Protocol

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Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Computer Systems, Tampere University of Technology, 33720 Tampere, Finland