A token based MAC protocol for wireless ad hoc networks.
The emergence of portable terminals in work and living environments is accelerating the progression of wireless networks. A wireless ad hoc network is a new network concept where users establish peer-to-peer communication among themselves independently, in their small area. Since the wireless medium is a shared resource, it becomes an important design issue to efficiently allocate bandwidth among users. MAC (Medium Access Control) layer arbitrates the channel access to the wireless medium and is also responsible for bandwidth allocation to different users, therefore a large amount of research has been conducted on various MAC protocols for ad hoc wireless networks. This dissertation begins with a survey of existing wireless MAC protocols. The survey includes protocols designed for different network generations and topologies, classifying them based on architecture and mode of operation. Next, we concentrate on the MAC protocols proposed for distributed wireless networks. We propose a new MAC protocol based on a token-passing strategy; which not only incorporates the advantages of the guaranteed access scheme into the distributed type of wireless networks, but also the data rate and delay level QoS guarantees. Data rate QoS provides fairness into sharing of the channel, while delay level QoS introduces a flexible prioritized access to channels by adjusting transmission permission to the current network traffic activities. A simulation model for the protocol is developed and delay and throughput performance results are presented. To examine the efficiency and performance of the proposed MAC scheme in an ad hoc wireless environment, it is incorporated into the Bluetooth structured network. The model is then simulated in the Bluetooth environment and performance results are presented. Furthermore, an analytical model is proposed and an approximate delay analysis conducted for the proposed MAC scheme. Analytical results are derived and compared with results obtained from computer simulations. The dissertation concludes with suggestions for improvements and future work.