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Low duty cycle operation is critical to conserve energy in wireless sensor networks. Traditional wakeup scheduling approaches either require periodic synchronization messages or incur high packet delivery latency due to the lack of any synchronization. In this paper, the authors present the design of a new low duty-cycle MAC layer protocol called Convergent MAC (CMAC). CMAC avoids synchronization overhead while supporting low latency. By using zero communication when there is no traffic, CMAC allows operation at very low duty cycles. When carrying traffic, CMAC first uses anycast to wake up forwarding nodes, and then converges from route-suboptimal anycast with unsynchronized duty cycling to route-optimal unicast with synchronized scheduling.
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