A Directional MAC Protocol with Deafness Avoidance in Ad Hoc Networks

Masanori TAKATA  Masaki BANDAI  Takashi WATANABE  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E90-B   No.4   pp.866-875
Publication Date: 2007/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1093/ietcom/e90-b.4.866
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Network
ad hoc networks,  medium access control,  directional antennas,  directional MAC protocol,  deafness,  

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This paper addresses the issue of deafness in MAC (Medium Access Control) protocols for wireless ad hoc networks using directional antennas. Directional antennas are expected to provide significant improvements over omni-directional antennas in ad hoc networks, such as high spatial reuse and range extension. Recently, several MAC protocols using directional antennas, typically referred to as directional MAC protocols, have been proposed for ad hoc networks. However, directional MAC protocols inherently introduce new kinds of problems arising from directivity. One major problem is deafness, caused by a lack of state information of neighbor nodes, whether idle or busy. This paper proposes DMAC/DA (Directional MAC with Deafness Avoidance) to overcome the deafness problem. DMAC/DA modifies the previously proposed MAC protocol, MDA (MAC protocol for Directional Antennas), to reduce the number of control messages and also maintain the ability to handle deafness. In DMAC/DA, WTS (Wait To Send) frames are simultaneously transmitted by the transmitter and the receiver after the successful exchange of directional RTS (Request To Send) and CTS (Clear To Send) to notify the on-going communication to potential transmitters that may experience deafness. The experimental results show that DMAC/DA outperforms existing directional MAC protocols, such as DMAC (Directional MAC) and MDA, in terms of throughput, control overhead and packet drop ratio under the different values of parameters such as the number of flows and the number of beams. In addition, qualitative evaluation of 9 MAC protocols is presented to highlight the difference between DMAC/DA and existing MAC protocols.