Making Sensornet MAC Protocols Robust Against Interference

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Executive Summary

Radio interference may lead to packet losses, thus negatively affecting the performance of sensornet applications. In this paper, the authors experimentally assess the impact of external interference on state-of-the-art sensornet MAC protocols. Their experiments illustrate that specific features of existing protocols, e.g., hand-shaking schemes preceding the actual data transmission, play a critical role in this setting. They leverage these results by identifying mechanisms to improve the robustness of existing MAC protocols under interference. These mechanisms include the use of multiple hand-shaking attempts coupled with packet trains and suitable congestion back-off schemes to better tolerate interference.

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