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Unveiling Media Access Control Protocols

MAC protocols

Ebelogu et al. (2019) defined the Media Access Control (MAC) protocols as the addresses used by the MAC sub-layer of the significant Data Link Control layer, which is also regarded as the protocol layer attached to the program said to handle a flow of data that keeps moving in and out over the physical links. The significant role of MAC is to facilitate the addressing mechanism as well as channel access for the purposes of allowing each node to communicate with others with the same, or any other networks. According Ebelogu et al. (2019) asserted that MAC protocols must have been for both the ad hoc networks, which foster the throughput efficiency and customization of fairness. Some of the significant protocols include the contikiMAC and XMAC. Michel and Quoitin (2014) defined contikiMAC as the radio protocol which allows the nodes to easily communicate while retaining the radio in a turned off mode most of the time. Notably, the radio duty cycle of this protocol can go as low as 1%. While signalling any incoming frame, it is asserted that contikiMAC would consistently and repeatedly send full data frame up to the time it can be acknowledged by the significant receiver. Dunkels (2011) further indicated that X-MAC protocol is largely used as a baseline for ContikiMAC and carries with it some of the mechanisms. It therefore paves way for quantification of the mechanism which can be responsible for the performance enhancement.


Notably, both ContikiMAC and X-MAC performances would commonly be evaluated on the basis of the expected transmission county, denoted as ETX, duty cycle, packet delivery ratio and latency. However, X-MAC takes advantage of a range of mechanisms in broadcasting or unicasting a frame. Notably, the unicast mechanism essentially derives from sampling techniques which are induced by LPH HC02 ad MAC PHC04. The long preamble would notify of any incoming frame in which the duration may be greater compared to the wake-up interval. Essentially, the X-MAC would replace the long preamble with short strobe frames. Dunkels (2011) further noted that ContikiMAC is largely characterized by timing in which significant parameters are being observed. Some of the parameters include the intervals between the CCA, the time needed for detection of an acknowledgement, the time between reception of a packet and sending the essential acknowledgement packet and the time needed for the stable RSSI. Other protocols include the TMAC and the SMAC protocol. Based on the findings established by Khatarkar and Kamble (2013), it is evident that Sensor MAC (SMAC) is a MAC protocol which is essentially designed for the wireless sensor networks.

SMAC would use at least three innovative approaches for the purposes of supporting the auto-configuration and reducing the energy consumption. First, the nodes would periodically sleep and therefore reduce on the consumption of energy. Secondly, the virtual clusters would be formed for the purposes of auto-synchronizing during the sleep schedules. Lastly, SMAC adopts some of the characteristics of PAMAS in the event of turning off the radio. Another type of MAC protocol is the Timeout MAC or TMAC, which is commonly derived from the SMAC protocol in which the sleep and the non-sleep periods are commonly fixed. In this type of the protocol, the sensor nodes are likely to deviate towards the sleep period when there is no occurrence of any event for the time “Tact”. Khatarkar and Kamble (2013) further alluded to the fact that Tact is regarded as the minimum or the limited idle listening period due to many events such as data receiving before hitting the sleep period.

Another MAC protocol is the Gateway MAC or GMAC which is commonly known for implementing new cluster centric paradigm which would effectively distribute the cluster energy resources as well as extend the lifetime of the network. Other protocols include the A-MAC, SPARE-MAC, U-MAC and DEE-MAC among others. Most of the protocols would characterize the wireless sensor network as the distribution of the nodes over a given area for the purposes of collecting the information. Most of these sensor nodes would communicate or ensure flow of information among them via the essentially established wireless channel. However, energy consumption is the significant factor in the process.

Routing protocols

It is quite common that studies on networks would be accompanied by routing and the routing protocols. According to Li et al. (2016), routing basically denotes the process used by computers in transmitting a packet across different subnets. When one wishes to communicate with any given computer having a different subnet, the one need to forward the data packets to the router, which is simply hardware and software in charge of delivering the packets across the subnets. This qualifies the routing protocol as a language spoken by a router to other routers for the purposes of sharing information regarding the status as well as reachability of the given network. Hasan et al. (2017) further indicated that the routing protocol constitutes a procedure engaged in selecting the convenient path that would suit the reachability of the information. Protocols can either be dynamic or static. Notably, static routing denotes a process that entails manual entry of the routes into the routing table with the help of a configuration file. In this context, changes across the logical network need to be manually done with the help of the administrator.

On the other hand, the dynamic routing gives room for routers to pick the best path for the network layout changes. Goswami et al. (2017) noted that there are three significant routing protocols. The first one is the Routing Information Protocol (RIP), which is essentially a standardized vector distance protocol, which utilizes distance as a form of the hop count metric. RIP is therefore a distance vector. RIP is commonly known for preventing the routing loops with the maximum limit of the hops settling at 15. If the hop goes beyond 15, then the route will be considered unreachable. RIP is also known for having four basic timers in which the update timer essentially defines the frequency through which a router is likely to send out the routing table update. On the other hand, the invalid time shows the period a router is likely to remain in the routing table before it can be marked as being invalid (Abdelgadir et al. 2017). The Hold-down timer denotes the duration the RIP is able to sustain a route especially from receiving any update, while the flush timer denotes the period a route can be kept in the routing table before it can be flushed out. Another routing protocol is the Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), which is regarded as an interior Gateway protocol utilized in the distribution of the routing details across the autonomous system.

Another routing protocol is the Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), which is regarded as the hybrid routing protocol known for provision of the significant improvements especially on the IGRP. Notably, EIGRP is known for replacing the IGRP in the year 1993 when the Internet Protocol was designed for the purposes of supporting the IPv4 addresses, which could not supported through the IGRP. Further studies on Routing Protocols have been extended to the Routing Protocols for THE Lower power and the Lossy Networks, which is denoted as RPL. According to Zhao et al. (2017), RPL is considered as one of the proactive IPv6 vector protocol designed for the large networks, which constitute a range of the nodes believed to operating in the lossy as well as dynamic links. RPL is essentially known for supporting the unicast and the multicast data transfer. It can therefore develop a network with the help of the tree topology which would be utilized as the destination oriented directed acyclic graph, denoted as DODAG. The latter would essentially be rooted as one of the sink nodes that serves as part of the transitional point meant for bridging the DAGs with the relevant IPv6 networks. Across the RPL, it is common to use Mode of Operations (MOP), which plays a vital role in terms of maintaining the downward routes and the associated mechanism.

Wireless sensor networks (WSN)

Amid the discussion of internet protocols or generally protocols in a network, the core item to be observed is the wireless sensor networks denoted as WSN. According to Kocakulak and Butun (2017), the wireless sensor networks can be understood the infrastructure-less wireless and the self-configured networks meant to monitor the environmental and physical conditions including motion, sound, temperature and even vibration among others. The networks would cooperatively pass the data to the sink or main location in which the data can both be observed as well as analysed. The nodes within a WSN are commonly resource constrained and would end up having limited processing speed, communicati0on bandwidth and even the storage capacity. The sensor nodes are essentially deployed and would therefore be responsible of self-organizing a more convenient network infrastructure accompanied with the multi-hop communication. On the basis of the findings established by Singh and Bansal (2017), WSNs are characterized by enabling new applications and would equally demand for the non-conventional paradigms aligned to the protocol design.

For the network lifetime, Singh and Bansal (2017) asserts that there should be a balance between the signal or data processing and the communication capabilities, which need to be established. WSNs appear in most applications such as intelligence, control, surveillance, and communications and across most of the targeting systems. In transport, WSNs have found a place in the provision of the real-time traffic information, which can be important in handling most of the traffic problems. In health, WSNs would support significant interfaces meant for integrated patient monitoring, drug administration and even diagnostics. Apart from its applications, researchers have consistently been observing the routing protocols meant for the WSNs. Shabbir and Hassan (2017) noted that routing protocols for WSNs can be node centric, data centric, destination initiated and source initiated. All these protocols play significant roles in the transmission of data in the network through either gossiping or flooding.

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Abdelgadir, M., Saeed, R.A. and Babiker, A., 2017. Mobility routing model for vehicular Ad- Hoc networks (VANETS), smart city scenarios. Vehicular Communications, 9, pp.154- 161.

Dunkels, A., 2011. The contikimac radio duty cycling protocol.

Ebelogu, C., Amujo, O., Adelaiye, O. and Faki, A. (2019). Media Access Control (MAC) Protocols: An Overview. International Journal of Advances in Scientific Research and Engineering, 5(8), pp. 142-149.

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Shabbir, N. and Hassan, S.R., 2017. Routing protocols for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). In Wireless Sensor Networks-Insights and Innovations. IntechOpen.

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Zhao, M., Kumar, A., Chong, P.H.J. and Lu, R., 2017. A comprehensive study of RPL and P2P- RPL routing protocols: Implementation, challenges and opportunities. Peer-to-Peer Networking and Applications, 10(5), pp.1232-1256.

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