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Sensors 2011, 11(1), 964-991; doi:10.3390/s110100964

Multi-Channel Distributed Coordinated Function over Single Radio in Wireless Sensor Networks

School of Engineering and Information Sciences, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT, UK
Division of Fusion and Convergence of Mathematical Sciences, National Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Daejeon 305-390, Korea
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 December 2010 / Revised: 10 January 2011 / Accepted: 13 January 2011 / Published: 17 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)


Multi-channel assignments are becoming the solution of choice to improve performance in single radio for wireless networks. Multi-channel allows wireless networks to assign different channels to different nodes in real-time transmission. In this paper, we propose a new approach, Multi-channel Distributed Coordinated Function (MC-DCF) which takes advantage of multi-channel assignment. The backoff algorithm of the IEEE 802.11 distributed coordination function (DCF) was modified to invoke channel switching, based on threshold criteria in order to improve the overall throughput for wireless sensor networks (WSNs) over 802.11 networks. We presented simulation experiments in order to investigate the characteristics of multi-channel communication in wireless sensor networks using an NS2 platform. Nodes only use a single radio and perform channel switching only after specified threshold is reached. Single radio can only work on one channel at any given time. All nodes initiate constant bit rate streams towards the receiving nodes. In this work, we studied the impact of non-overlapping channels in the 2.4 frequency band on: constant bit rate (CBR) streams, node density, source nodes sending data directly to sink and signal strength by varying distances between the sensor nodes and operating frequencies of the radios with different data rates. We showed that multi-channel enhancement using our proposed algorithm provides significant improvement in terms of throughput, packet delivery ratio and delay. This technique can be considered for WSNs future use in 802.11 networks especially when the IEEE 802.11n becomes popular thereby may prevent the 802.15.4 network from operating effectively in the 2.4 GHz frequency band.
Keywords: WSN; multi-channel; 802.11 DCF; MAC; channels WSN; multi-channel; 802.11 DCF; MAC; channels
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Campbell, C.-A.; Loo, K.-K.; Gemikonakli, O.; Khan, S.; Singh, D. Multi-Channel Distributed Coordinated Function over Single Radio in Wireless Sensor Networks. Sensors 2011, 11, 964-991.

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