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The authors introduce an energy-efficient Rate Adaptive Media Access Control (RA-MAC) algorithm for long-lived Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). Previous research shows that the dynamic and lossy nature of wireless communications is one of the major challenges to reliable data delivery in WSNs. RA-MAC achieves high link reliability in such situations by dynamically trading off data rate for channel gain. The extra gain that can be achieved reduces the packet loss rate which contributes to reduced energy expenditure through a reduced numbers of retransmissions.
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