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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Multihop Medium Access Control for WSNs: An Energy Analysis Model

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
  • 2
EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20052005:219063

  • Received: 30 November 2004
  • Published:


We present an energy analysis technique applicable to medium access control (MAC) and multihop communications. Furthermore, the technique's application gives insight on using multihop forwarding instead of single-hop communications. Using the technique, we perform an energy analysis of carrier-sense-multiple-access (CSMA-) based MAC protocols with sleeping schemes. Power constraints set by battery operation raise energy efficiency as the prime factor for wireless sensor networks. A detailed energy expenditure analysis of the physical, the link, and the network layers together can provide a basis for developing new energy-efficient wireless sensor networks. The presented technique provides a set of analytical tools for accomplishing this. With those tools, the energy impact of radio, MAC, and topology parameters on the network can be investigated. From the analysis, we extract key parameters of selected MAC protocols and show that some traditional mechanisms, such as binary exponential backoff, have inherent problems.


  • energy efficiency
  • wireless sensor networks
  • medium access control
  • multihop communications

Authors’ Affiliations

Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC), University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4500, Oulu, 90014, Finland
Institute of Wireless Networks, RWTH Aachen University, Kackertstraße, Aachen 9, 52072, Germany


© Haapola et al. 2005

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.