Design Aspects of An Energy-Efficient, Lightweight Medium Access Control Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks

L.F.W. van Hoesel, Paul J.M. Havinga

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    This document gives an overview of the most relevant design aspects of the lightweight medium access control (LMAC) protocol [16] for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). These aspects include selfconfiguring and localized operation of the protocol, time synchronization in multi-hop networks, network setup and strategies to reduce latency. The main goal in designing a MAC protocol for WSNs is to minimize energy waste - due to collisions of messages and idle listening - , while limiting latency and loss of data throughput. It is shown that the LMAC protocol performs well on energy-efficiency and delivery ratio [19] and can ensure a long-lived, self-configuring network of battery-powered wireless sensors. The protocol is based upon scheduled access, in which each node periodically gets a time slot, during which it is allowed to transmit. The protocol does not depend on central managers to assign time slots to nodes. WSNs are assumed to be multi-hop networks, which allows for spatial reuse of time slots, just like frequency reuse in GSM cells. In this document, we present a distributed algorithm that allows nodes to find unoccupied time slots, which can be used without causing collision or interference to other nodes. Each node takes one time slot in control to carry out its data transmissions. Latency is affected by the actual choice of controlled time slot. We present time slot choosing strategies, which ensure a low latency for the most common data traffic in WSNs: reporting of sensor readings to central sinks.
    Original languageUndefined
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    PublisherCentre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT)
    Number of pages24
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2006

    Publication series

    NameCTIT Technical Report Series
    PublisherCentre for Telematics and Information Technology, University of Twente
    ISSN (Print)1381-3625


    • CAES-PS: Pervasive Systems
    • METIS-238685
    • IR-66383
    • EWI-6996

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