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In this paper, the authors propose a Markov chain-based analytical framework for modeling the behavior of the Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol in IEEE 802.15.4 wireless networks. Two scenarios are of interest. First, they consider networks where the (sensor) nodes communicate directly to the network coordinator (the final sink). Then, they consider Cluster-Tree (CT) scenarios where the sources communicate to the coordinator through a series of intermediate relay, which forward the received packets and do not generate traffic on their own. In both scenarios, no acknowledgment messages are used to confirm successful data packet deliveries and communications are beaconed (i.e., they rely on synchronization packets denoted as ''Beacons'').
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