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RC-MAC: A Receiver-Centric MAC Protocol for Event-Driven Wireless Sensor Networks

RC-MAC: A Receiver-Centric MAC Protocol for Event-Driven Wireless Sensor Networks Event-driven wireless sensor networks (WSNs) usually operate under light traffic load. However, when an event is detected, a large number of packets may be generated. A MAC protocol designed for this kind of WSNs should be able to swiftly adapt to the two conditions. Most WSN MAC protocols are optimized for light traffic for the energy efficiency consideration. In this paper, we propose a novel receiver-centric MAC protocol called RC-MAC that seamlessly integrates duty cycling and receiver-centric scheduling, providing high throughput without sacrificing the energy efficiency. To handle bursty traffic triggered by an event, RC-MAC takes advantage of the underlying data gathering tree structure of WSNs and the multichannel technique supported by current IEEE 802.15.4 RF transceivers to assist scheduling of medium access. The throughput is improved in two phases with receiver-centric medium access scheduling and distributed channel assignment. First, on a data gathering tree, a receiver is able to coordinate the medium access of multiple senders so as to reduce collisions and achieve high throughput. Second, different receivers coordinate their senders in different channels and the throughput is further improved by allowing parallel data gathering. Observing packet processing time on low cost sensor nodes, we design a scheduling pattern that ensures fairness between source nodes without sacrificing the throughput. We evaluate the performance of our RC-MAC through measurements of an implementation in TinyOS on TelosB motes and extensive ns-2 simulations. Compared with contention-based and scheduling-based MAC protocols, we show that the throughput and the fairness under heavy traffic load are significantly improved by the receiver-centric scheduling. Due to the high throughput, the energy efficiency is also improved.

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