Comparative Investigation On CSMA/CA-Based Opportunistic Random Access For Internet of Things

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Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering


Wireless communication is indispensable to Internet of Things (IoT). Carrier sensing multiple access/collision avoidance (CSMA/CA) is a well-proven wireless random access protocol and allows each node of equal probability in accessing wireless channel, which incurs equal throughput in long term regardless of the channel conditions. To exploit node diversity that refers to the difference of channel condition among nodes, this paper proposes two opportunistic random access mechanisms: overlapped contention and segmented contention, to favor the node of the best channel condition. In the overlapped contention, the contention windows of all nodes share the same ground of zero, but have different upper bounds upon channel condition. In the segmented contention, the contention window upper bound of a better channel condition is smaller than the lower bound of a worse channel condition; namely, their contention windows are segmented without any overlapping. These algorithms are also polished to provide temporal fairness and avoid starving the nodes of poor channel conditions. The proposed mechanisms are analyzed, implemented, and evaluated on a Linux-based testbed and in the NS3 simulator. Extensive comparative experiments show that both opportunistic solutions can significantly improve the network performance in throughput, delay, and jitter over the current CSMA/CA protocol. In particular, the overlapped contention scheme can offer 73.3% and 37.5% throughput improvements in the infrastructure-based and ad hoc networks, respectively.

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