Date Added: Jul 2010
This paper investigates the energy cost of control packets in schedule-based medium access control protocols in wireless sensor networks. Control packets can be useful not only to minimise collision, but also to avoid idle listening and overhearing. Therefore, whether or not to apply control packets is a trade-off. It will be shown that this trade-off mainly depends on the packet arrival rate at individual nodes, the transmission rate and the average number of active neighbours in the network.