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Content-Aware Reliable and Energy-Efficient MAC (CARE-MAC) Protocol for Wireless Body Area Networks
Hassan Murtaza, Muhammad Azhar Iqbal, Muhammad Arshad Islam and Muhammad Aleem

Immense technological progress in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) has made possible the realization of intra and inter-body communication in Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs). A WBAN is a unique branch of WSNs in which tiny body sensors (implanted/wearable) are equipped with wireless interfaces (homo-/heterogeneous radio technologies). The MAC protocols in WBAN play an important role in regulating the duty cycle of Radio Frequency (RF) module to reduce the energy consumption of sensor nodes and ultimately achieve the objectives of maximum network life and maximum throughput. In this paper, we have proposed Content-Aware Reliable and Energy-efficient MAC (CARE-MAC) protocol for WBAN, which is based on 802.15.6 standard of IEEE. The design of CARE-MAC is rooted in the fact that most of the common vital signs maintain steady values for patients having chronic conditions. Accordingly, data redundancy exists in transmitted data packets for long periods of time. CARE-MAC explores an opportunity to utilize channel access efficiently by minimizing redundant transmissions of sensed data. This paper also provides comprehensive frame transmission and energy consumption model. A real-life dataset of 32 patients is used to perform simulation analysis of CARE-MAC and its comparison with IEEE 802.15.6 standard. Simulation results show that the proposed CARE-MAC outperforms IEEE 802.15.6 MAC protocol both in term of energy efficiency and packet delivery ratio.

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