Modeling and Stability Analysis of Hybrid Multiple Access in the IEEE 802.15.4 Protocol
2013 (English)In: ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks, ISSN 1550-4859, Vol. 9, no 2, 13- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
To offer flexible quality of service to several classes of applications, the medium access control (MAC) protocol of IEEE 802.15.4 wireless sensor networks (WSNs) combines the advantages of a random access with contention with a time division multiple access (TDMA) without contention. Understanding reliability, delay, and throughput is essential to characterizing the fundamental limitations of the MAC and optimizing its parameters. Nevertheless, there is not yet a clear investigation of the achievable performance of hybrid MAC. In this article, an analytical framework for modeling the behavior of the hybrid MAC protocol of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard is proposed. The main challenge for an accurate analysis is the coexistence of the stochastic behavior of the random access and the deterministic behavior of the TDMA scheme. The analysis is done in three steps. First, the contention access scheme of the IEEE 802.15.4 exponential back-off process is modeled through an extended Markov chain that takes into account channel, retry limits, acknowledgements, unsaturated traffic, and superframe period. Second, the behavior of the TDMA access scheme is modeled by another Markov chain. Finally, the two chains are coupled to obtain a complete model of the hybrid MAC. By using this model, the network performance in terms of reliability, average packet delay, average queuing delay, and throughput is evaluated through both theoretical analysis and experiments. The protocol has been implemented and evaluated on a testbed with off-the-shelf wireless sensor devices to demonstrate the utility of the analysis in a practical setup. It is established that the probability density function of the number of received packets per superframe follows a Poisson distribution. It is determined under which conditions the guaranteed time slot allocation mechanism of IEEE 802.15.4 is stable. It is shown that the mutual effect between throughput of the random access and the TDMA scheme for a fixed superframe length is critical to maximizing the overall throughput of the hybrid MAC. In high traffic load, the throughput of the random access mechanism dominates over TDMA due to the constrained use of TDMA in the standard. Furthermore, it is shown that the effect of imperfect channels and carrier sensing on system performance heavily depends on the traffic load and limited range of the protocol parameters. Finally, it is argued that the traffic generation model established in this article may be used to design an activation timer mechanism in a modified version of the CSMA/CA algorithm that guarantees a stable network performance.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 9, no 2, 13- p.
Performance, Standardization, Theory, Verification, IEEE 802.15.4, hybrid MAC, Markov chain model
Computer Science Telecommunications
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122120DOI: 10.1145/2422966.2422970ISI: 000316964400004ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84876051928OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-122120DiVA: diva2:621199
FunderVinnovaSwedish Research CouncilKnut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
QC 201305142013-05-142013-05-132013-05-14Bibliographically approved