Transient coordinator: A collision resolution algorithm for asynchronous MAC protocols in wireless sensor networks

Sang Hoon Lee, Byung Joon Park, Lynn Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wireless sensor networks (WSN) often employ asynchronous MAC scheduling, which allows each sensor node to wake up independently without synchronizing with its neighbor nodes. However, this asynchronous scheduling may not deal with collisions due to hidden terminals effectively. Although most of the existing asynchronous protocols exploit a random back-off technique to resolve collisions, the random back-off cannot secure a receiver from potentially repetitive collisions and may lead to a substantial increase in the packet latency. In this paper, we propose a new collision resolution algorithm called Transient Coordinator (TC) for asynchronous WSN MAC protocols. TC resolves a collision on demand by ordering senders' transmissions when a receiver detects a collision. To coordinate the transmission sequence both the receiver and the collided senders perform handshaking to collect the information and to derive a collision-free transmission sequence, which enables each sender to exclusively access the channel. According to the simulation results, our scheme can improve the average per-node throughput by up to 19.4% while it also reduces unnecessary energy consumption due to repetitive collisions by as much as 91.1% compared to the conventional asynchronous MAC protocols. This demonstrates that TC is more efficient in terms of performance, resource utilization, and energy compared to the random back-off scheme in dealing with collisions for asynchronous WSN MAC scheduling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3152-3165
Number of pages14
JournalKSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 31


  • Asynchronous scheduling
  • Collision resolution
  • MAC protocols
  • Random back-off
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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