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Low latency for packet delivery, high throughput, good reactivity, and energy-efficient operation are key challenges that MAC protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have to meet. Since traffic patterns as well as network load may change during network lifetime, adaptability of the protocol stack, e.g. in terms of duty cycling, and the integration of reliable transport mechanisms are mandatory. So far, given that the optimizations for energy-efficiency and performance parameters are contradicting, most MAC protocols proposed have concentrated on either one or the other. In order to close this gap, the authors designed BEAM (Burst-aware Energy-efficient Adaptive MAC).
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