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IEEE 802.15.4 is an important standard for low-rate low power wireless personal area networks that is in increasing commercial use for a diverse range of embedded wireless sensing and control applications. The standard provides specifications for both the physical layer and the Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol. The authors characterize the performance of the IEEE 802.15.4 MAC for one-hop data collection in a star topology where there are multiple transmitters and a single receiver. The primary focus is on settings where the number of transmitters is large. Because 802.15.4-enabled devices are meant to be low-cost and operate at relatively low rates, such dense deployments are of interest in many sensing applications involving these devices.
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