Open Access

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

  • Mikko Kohvakka1,
  • Jukka Suhonen1Email author,
  • Timo D. Hämäläinen1 and
  • Marko Hännikäinen1
EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20102010:878412

Received: 13 April 2010

Accepted: 16 August 2010

Published: 18 August 2010


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.

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Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Computer Systems, Tampere University of Technology


© Mikko Kohvakka et al. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.