Analysis And Comparison Of Medium Access Control Computer Science Essay

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In this paper work we have briefly discussed the performance, evaluation, working, flaws, and advantages of the Common Control Channel protocol, a medium access control (MAC). We have also compared the working of Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol issues in different networks like wireless mesh networks, wireless sensor networks, wireless LAN networks and also discussed its sub layer specifications [1]. Medium Access Protocol allows the sub-stations in a network to stake the accessible bandwidth. Wireless Mesh Networks establish with the intention of disseminated Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols are preferred. The protocol does not necessitate time execution among nodes and takes the control toggle cost of obtainable hardware into account. There has been a bundle of MAC protocols introduced for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) that only use channel for broadcast and response. Although, with the modern capabilities of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) specks this can interconnect on different ranges of frequencies. [2]

The Medium Access Control, being the sub-layer of the Second layer of the Open System Interconnection Model, provides addressing and station access control which makes it possible for different nodes of network to communicate within a network, usually a Local Area Network (LAN) or metropolitan area network (MAN) [3]. Hardware that gears the Medium Access Control is referred to as a Medium Access Controller. Media Access Control layer acts as a connection point between the Logical Link Controller (LLC) sub layer and the networks physical layer. The MAC layer matches a full-duplex logical communication channel in a multi-point network. This channel possibly will offer unicast, multicast or broadcast communication service.

MAC Header:


46-1500 bytes


Destination Address

Source Address




MAC encapsulation of a packet of data

The channel access control mechanism provided by the MAC layer is also known as a multiple access protocol. Making it probable for more than a small number of stations associated to the similar physical medium to share it. Illustration of common objective medium is bus networks, ring networks, hub networks, wireless networks and half duplex point-to-point links. The multiple access protocol may sense or keep away from data packet conflict if a packet mode disputation foundation Channel Access Method is used, or keep resources to create a logical channel if a circuit switched or channelization based channel access method is used.

Figure #1.Media Access Control Protocol Taxonomy

The most extensive multiple access protocol is the disputation based CSMA/CD protocol that is used in Ethernet set of connections. This method is merely consumed inside a set of connections conflict domain.

Ethernet set of connections might be alienated into further few conflict domains that are interrelated by link and switches.

A multiple access protocol is not required in a full-duplex switched network, for example switched Ethernet networks, however it frequently exists in the equipment for compatibility reasons.

Common Multiple Access Protocols:

Multiple access protocols for wired networks :


Token ring

Token passing

Multiple access protocols for radio wireless networks:


Slotted ALOHA

Dynamic TDMA


Figure #2. Media Access Control Sub-layers [ 3]


Wireless network points to a few kind of CPU networks which is wireless, and is usually associated with a network whose in nodes are interconnected without using wires. Wireless networks are generally implemented with some type of inaccessible information transmission system that uses electromagnetic waves, such as radio waves, for the carrier and this implementation usually takes place at the physical layer of the network [4]. Wireless networks have a major effect on the world. By using wireless networks, information can be sent from one part of the world to the other very efficiently, easily and more effectively. Wireless networks have constantly developed and their uses have grown drastically. Mobile phones are the part of vast wireless network systems. People use these phones daily to communicate with each other. Sending information across the world is possible by using wireless network systems using satellites and other signals to exchange information around the globe. Rising Utilities wireless networks to exchange important information quickly. People use wireless networks to send and share data speedily whether it is in a small office building or across the world.

Wireless MAC Layer [3]


Wireless LAN

Wireless PAN

Wireless MAN

Wireless WAN


A wireless mesh network (WMN), being a communication network ready of radio hops prearranged in a mesh topology. The mesh consumers are often laptops, mobile phones and other wireless devices. The routers forward traffic to and from the gateways which may be need to connect to the Internet. Reporting area of the radio nodes functioning as a only set of connections is from time to time called a mesh cloud [5]. Access to this mesh cloud is dependent on the radio nodes working in synchronization with each other to create a radio network. The mesh routers might be extremely portable. Oftenly the mesh routers are not restricted in terms of possessions compared to other nodes in the network and thus can be exploited to achieve more resource exhaustive functions.

Wireless mesh infrastructure plan is a first stride in path of providing high-bandwidth set of connections over a detailed exposed area. Wireless mesh structure consist of a router network and there is no cabling between nodes. It consists of peer radio devices that do not connect a cabled from a wired port. Mesh structural design prolong signal command by isolating long expanse into a sequence of shorter hops. Intermediate nodes boost up the signal, and considerately make forwarding decisions based on their understanding of the network. This kind of structural design provides high bandwidth, spectral efficiency, and financially viable benefit over the coverage area.

Three kinds of Wireless Mesh Network:

road and rail network wireless mesh networks: Mesh routers form an transportation for consumers.

Client wireless mesh networks: customer hops comprise the genuine set of connections to execute routing and agreement functionalities.

Hybrid wireless mesh networks: Mesh consumers can perform mesh functions with other mesh clients as well as accessing the network.

Figure #3: Wireless Mesh Client Networks [5 ]

Wireless mesh networks have a comparatively unwavering topology excluding for the intermittent collapse of nodes or accumulation of new nodes. Virtually all the traffic in a structural design of a mesh network is either transmitted to a gateway or from a gateway, while in ad hoc networks or client mesh networks the traffic flows among the random pairs of nodes.


In wireline networks, packet loss is mostly due to the blockage in the network, which triggers an overcrowding control method for example in transmission control protocol (TCP) at the transport layer. On the other hand, in wirelessnetworks, in addition to traffic jamming, packet loss can also be attributed to susceptible radio links or collisions [6]. The traditional TCP cannot discriminate the packet losses due to overcrowding from those due to weak wireless links or collisions, thus causing performance deprivation. With cross-layer design, the information of packet losses in the physical and MAC layers can be reported to the transport layer. By receiving more accurate link and network conditions, relevant congestion control and/or power control can then be triggered , so improving the system routine.


The new radio capabilities of Wireless Sensor Network motes can communicate on several frequencies, this is the main source of inefficiency. The very high concentration of existing WSNs inescapably results in physical bandwidth limitations and grave collisions on a single channel [7]. Some of these MAC protocols suppose that the time to toggle among two channels is insignificant, whereas others involve fine-grained time synchronization among nodes. Some believes that nodes have a multi-radio interface or can eavesdrop on different channels at the same time. The majority of these MAC protocols have only been evaluated in model, and other protocols require devices with fully fledged multi-radio interfaces. So we can say that, all previous multi-channel protocols for sensor networks have a minimum of one of the abovementioned restrictions.

Medium Access Control Issues in Sensor Networks:

Wireless Sensor set of connections have materialize as lone of the leading expertise trend of this decade [8]. Sensors and actuators, wireless communications, and embedded computing are not innovative concepts except it is the new low-cost large-scale integration (LCLSI) of computation, communication, and sensing into “wireless sensor networks” that is attracting to the concentration of many researchers [9]. Sensor-nets permit scrutinize the corporeal earth at a low level which was not done before. Disciplines of sensor networks include a variety of disciplines and domains, restricted only by the thoughts of the application designer.

Standardized Radio Hardware

Peaceful Coexistence

Understanding and Exploiting Traffic Patterns

New Optimization Criteria

Mobile Sensor Networks

Simulations Considered Harmful

Embrace Software Radios


Working of Wireless Sensor Networks

Goals For a MAC Protocol For Wireless Sensor Network:

Small influence Operation

Efficient Collision Prevention

Easy Accomplishment , Small Code and RAM Size

Well-organized Channel Utilization at Low and High Data Rates

Reconfigurable by Network Protocols

Tolerant to Changing RF/Networking Conditions

Scalable to Large Numbers of Nodes


We analyzed that, Medium Access Control (MAC) layer is a Common Control Protocol (CCP) layer. Being the sub layer of the data-link layer, the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer is capable of addressing and controlling the access over the physical transmission link. This extreme possessions of the Medium Access Control allows it to establish a network up to its terminals. Medium Access Control or the Media Access Control has much wide variety of its applications in different networks like Wireless Sensor Networks, Wireless Mesh Networks, Wireless Local Area Networks and other different lined networks. We also analyzed that MAC protocol is very important for Wireless Sensor Protocols because all other protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks had many limitations which were like shingles in the communication process.

MAC has a vital effect over all other protocols in Wireless Mesh Network, because it acts as an edge sandwiched between the Physical layer and Logical Link Layer.