Underwater acoustic networks: evaluation of the impact of media access control on latency, in a delay constrained network
Coelho, Jose Manuel dos Santos
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This thesis presents an evaluation of the performance, in terms of throughput and latency, of two Media Access Control (MAC) mechanisms in Underwater Acoustic Networks (UANs), using a model designed in the COTS simulation tool OPNET 10.5. The carrier sense multiple access with collision avoidance is the predominant approach for implementing the MAC mechanism in UANs. However, the underwater acoustic environment is characterized by extreme propagation delays and limited bandwidth, which suggests that an Aloha-like scheme may merit consideration. The performance of these two schemes was compared with respect to two topologies: tree and grid. The results showed that an Aloha-like scheme that does not segment messages outperforms the contention-based scheme under all load conditions, in terms of both throughput and latency, for the two topologies. This thesis is the first to establish that Aloha-like MAC mechanisms can be more than a limited alternative for lightly loaded networks; more specifically, they can be the preferred choice for an environment with large propagation delays.
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