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In this paper, the authors present a comparative evaluation among two MAC protocols specifically proposed for underwater acoustic networks, namely Slotted FAMA and Tone-Lohi. Both protocols are based on random access and regulate transmissions by either four-way handshaking (Slotted FAMA) or contention resolution procedures (Tone-Lohi). Their comparison is carried out by means of analytical models, which are used to capture the behavior of a node that acts according to either protocol. They focus on throughput, delay and energy performance, studying the pros and cons of each approach. Their results highlight relevant design tradeoffs that can be exploited in order to properly tune protocol performance.
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