CAM-MAC: A Cooperative Asynchronous Multi-Channel MAC Protocol for Ad Hoc Networks


Medium access control (MAC) protocols have been studied under different contexts for several years now. In all these MAC protocols, nodes make independent decisions on when to transmit a packet and when to back-off from transmission. In this paper, we introduce the notion of node cooperation into MAC protocols. Cooperation adds a new degree of freedom which has not been explored before. Specifically we study the design of cooperative MAC protocols in an environment where each node is equipped with a single transceiver and has multiple channels to choose from. Nodes cooperate by helping each other select a free channel to use. We show that this simple idea of cooperation has several qualitative and quantitative advantages. Our cooperative asynchronous multi-channel MAC protocol (CAM-MAC) is extremely simple to implement and, unlike other multi-channel MAC protocols, is naturally asynchronous. We conduct extensive simulation experiments. We first compare CAM-MAC with IEEE 802.11b and a version of CAM-MAC with the cooperation element removed. We use this to show the value of cooperation. Our results show significant improvement in terms of number of collisions and throughput for CAM-MAC. We also compare our protocol with MMAC and SSCH and show that CAM-MAC significantly outperforms both of them.

Meeting Name

3rd International Conference on Broadband Communications, Networks and Systems, BROADNETS 2006 (2006: Oct. 1-5, San Jose, CA)


Computer Science

Keywords and Phrases

Mac protocols; Multi-channel MAC, Access control; Ad hoc networks; Associative storage; Cams; Control systems; Medium access control; Network protocols; Standards; Telecommunication systems; Wireless telecommunication systems, Computer networks

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2006 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.