Channel-Aware Polling-Based MAC Protocol for Body Area Networks: Design and Analysis

Chi Han Lin, Ching-Ju Lin, Wen Tsuen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Body area networks (BANs) enable wearable/implanted devices to exchange information or collect monitored data. The channel quality of a link in a BAN is typically highly dynamic, since sensors equipped on a human body usually move with gesture, posture, or mobility. Therefore, existing sleep-wake-up scheduling mechanisms used in traditional static sensor networks could be very inefficient in a BAN, because they do not consider channel fluctuation of body sensors. Sensors might be waked up to transmit during bad channel conditions, leading to transmission failures and energy waste. To remedy this inefficiency, this paper proposes a Channel-aware Polling-based MAC protocol CPMAC. Our design only wakes sensors up and triggers them to transmit when the channel is strong enough to ensure fast and reliable transmissions. We further analyze the energy consumption and derive a queueing model to estimate the probability of completing all data transmissions of all sensors in our CPMAC. Benefiting from these analyses, we are able to optimize energy efficiency of our CPMAC by adapting the number of polling periods in a superframe to dynamic traffic demands and channel fluctuation. Our simulation results show that, as compared with TDMA-based scheduling and the IEEE 802.15.6 CSMA/CA protocol, CPMAC significantly improves energy efficiency and, meanwhile, keeps the latency short.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7857679
Pages (from-to)2936-2948
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2017


  • Body area networks
  • channel-aware communications
  • MAC
  • performance analysis


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