In this paper we provide a model for analyzing the saturation throughput of the ieee 802.15.4 mac protocol, which is the de-facto standard for wireless sensor networks, ensuring fair access to the channel. To this end, we introduce the concept of a natural layer, which reflects the time that a sensor node typically has to wait prior to sending a packet. The model is simple and provides new insight how the throughput depends on the protocol parameters and the number of nodes in the network. Validation experiments with simulations demonstrate that the model is highly accurate for a wide range of parameter settings of the mac protocol, and applicable to both large and small networks. As a byproduct, we discuss fundamental differences in the protocol stack and corresponding throughput models of the popular 802.11 standard.

Additional Metadata
Keywords IEEE 802.15.4, Natural layer, Performance, Sensor network, Throughput
Stakeholder Thales Innovation Research & Tech, Huizen
Persistent URL
Journal Performance Evaluation Review
Onderwater, M, Hoekstra, G.J, & van der Mei, R.D. (2017). Throughput modeling of the IEEE MAC for sensor networks. Performance Evaluation Review, 44(4), 2–9. doi:10.1145/3092819.3092821