Open Access

Channel MAC Protocol for Opportunistic Communication in Ad Hoc Wireless Networks

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20082009:368209

Received: 18 January 2008

Accepted: 28 July 2008

Published: 7 August 2008


Despite significant research effort, the performance of distributed medium access control methods has failed to meet theoretical expectations. This paper proposes a protocol named "Channel MAC" performing a fully distributed medium access control based on opportunistic communication principles. In this protocol, nodes access the channel when the channel quality increases beyond a threshold, while neighbouring nodes are deemed to be silent. Once a node starts transmitting, it will keep transmitting until the channel becomes "bad." We derive an analytical throughput limit for Channel MAC in a shared multiple access environment. Furthermore, three performance metrics of Channel MAC—throughput, fairness, and delay—are analysed in single hop and multihop scenarios using NS2 simulations. The simulation results show throughput performance improvement of up to 130% with Channel MAC over IEEE 802.11. We also show that the severe resource starvation problem (unfairness) of IEEE 802.11 in some network scenarios is reduced by the Channel MAC mechanism.

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Authors’ Affiliations

Institute for Telecommunications Research, University of South Australia


© Manzur Ashraf et al. 2009

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.