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Channel MAC Protocol for Opportunistic Communication in Ad Hoc Wireless Networks


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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Correspondence to Manzur Ashraf.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ashraf, M., Jayasuriya, A. & Perreau, S. Channel MAC Protocol for Opportunistic Communication in Ad Hoc Wireless Networks. EURASIP J. Adv. Signal Process. 2009, 368209 (2008).

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