Analysis of Hybrid CSMA/CA-TDMA Channel Access Schemes with Application to Wireless Sensor Networks

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Shrestha, Bharat
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A wireless sensor network consists of a number of sensor devices and coordinator(s) or sink(s). A coordinator collects the sensed data from the sensor devices for further processing. In such networks, sensor devices are generally powered by batteries. Since wireless transmission of packets consumes significant amount of energy, it is important for a network to adopt a medium access control (MAC) technology which is energy efficient and satisfies the communication performance requirements. Carrier sense multiple access with collision avoidance (CSMA/CA), which is a popular access technique because of its simplicity, flexibility and robustness, suffers poor throughput and energy inefficiency performance in wireless sensor networks. On the other hand, time division multiple access (TDMA) is a collision free and delay bounded access technique but suffers from the scalability problem. For this reason, this thesis focuses on design and analysis of hybrid channel access schemes which combine the strengths of both the CSMA/CA and TDMA schemes. In a hybrid CSMA/CA-TDMA scheme, the use of the CSMA/CA period and the TDMA period can be optimized to enhance the communication performance in the network. If such a hybrid channel access scheme is not designed properly, high congestion during the CSMA/CA period and wastage of bandwidth during the TDMA period result in poor communication performance in terms of throughput and energy efficiency. To address this issue, distributed and centralized channel access schemes are proposed to regulate the activities (such as transmitting, receiving, idling and going into low power mode) of the sensor devices. This regulation during the CSMA/CA period and allocation of TDMA slots reduce traffic congestion and thus improve the network performance. In this thesis work, time slot allocation methods in hybrid CSMA/CA-TDMA schemes are also proposed and analyzed to improve the network performance. Finally, such hybrid CSMA/CA-TDMA schemes are used in a cellular layout model for the multihop wireless sensor network to mitigate the hidden terminal collision problem.
CSMA/CA, TDMA, Wireless sensor networks, scalability, energy efficiency, Markov chain model, Markov decision process, knapsack problem