Networking Investigate

UW-FLASHR: Achieving High Channel Utilization in a Time-Based Acoustic MAC Protocol

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Executive Summary

Time-based Medium Access Control (MAC) has potential advantages over FDMA and CDMA approaches in terms of hardware simplicity, energy efficiency, and delay. Unfortunately, the channel utilization of existing TDMA and CSMA acoustic MAC protocols is generally low due to the long propagation delays of acoustic signals. In this paper, the authors argue that several ideas taken from RF protocols, including exclusive channel access, are either unnecessary in acoustic networks or must be redefined. The authors present and evaluate UW-FLASHR, a time-based MAC protocol which does not require centralized control, tight clock synchronization, or accurate propagation delay estimation.

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