Targeting the medical monitoring applications of wireless body area networks (WBANs), a hybrid medium access control protocol using an interrupt mechanism (I-MAC) is proposed to improve the energy and time slot utilization efficiency and to meet the data delivery delay requirement at the same time. Unlike existing hybrid MAC protocols, a superframe structure with a longer length is adopted to avoid unnecessary beacons. The time slots are mostly allocated to nodes with periodic data sources. Short interruption slots are inserted into the superframe to convey the urgent data and to guarantee the real-time requirements of these data. During these interruption slots, the coordinator can break the running superframe and start a new superframe. A contention access period (CAP) is only activated when there are more data that need to be delivered. Experimental results show the effectiveness of the proposed MAC protocol in WBANs with low urgent traffic.
- MAC protocol
- Medical monitoring
- Wireless body area networks (WBANs)