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Design and Analysis of an Integrated MAC and Routing Protocol Framework for Wireless Sensor Networks

In this paper, we present a Unified Network Protocol Framework (UNPF) for a wireless sensor network consisting of a few hundred sensors that communicate data to a base station (BS). The framework encompasses network organization, medium access control (MAC) and routing protocols. The network organization protocol is a distributed algorithm which uses localized information to organize the network into a “layered” structure. The MAC protocol, based on Time Division CDMA access, is designed to be collision-free, energy-efficient and fair. The routing protocol is multi-hop and uses a simple layering-based forwarding scheme. This reduces the number of control packets that need to be transmitted thereby reducing energy and computation costs. The performance of the UNPF, in terms of delay, throughput, energy consumption and network lifetimes, is studied in detail using discrete-event simulation. The simulation results help determine node transmission ranges that meet different objectives such as minimizing energy per packet, energy-delay product and maximizing network lifetimes. The performance of the protocol is compared to the existing LEACH architecture. The results show that UNPF is more energy efficient than LEACH protocol especially for a large scale network.

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