Scientific Research Publishing
In a multi-rate wireless environment, slow nodes occupy the channel for longer time than fast nodes and thus the total throughput of the network will be reduced. In this paper, the authors study the problem of fairness in multi-rate wireless sensor networks. To improve the fairness, they propose a new protocol, FMAC (Fair MAC protocol) that is based on IEEE 802.11 MAC protocol to achieve proportional fairness between all nodes. FMAC protocol includes medium delay periods within Backoff algorithm to utilize the idle slots of time and reduce the number of collisions and then number of retransmissions, and thus reducing the energy consumption, which is very critical in wireless sensor networks. The experimental results show that transmissions become faster with less collisions and power consumption when applying FMAC, while the aggregated throughput and proportional fairness are increased. The detailed performance evaluation and comparisons are provided using the simulation.