Document Type

Technical Report


Computer Science and Engineering

Publication Date






Technical Report Number



The integration of wireless sensors with mobile phones is gaining momentum as an enabling platform for numerous emerging applications. These mobile systems face dynamic environments where both application requirements and ambient wireless conditions change frequently. Despite the existence of many MAC protocols however, none can provide optimal performance along multiple dimensions, in particular when the conditions are frequently changing. Instead of pursuing a one-MAC-fit all approach we present a Self-Adapting MAC Layer (SAML) comprising (1) a Reconfigurable MAC Architecture (RMA) that can switch to different MAC protocols at run time and (2) a learning-based MAC Selection Engine that selects the protocol most suitable for the current condition and requirements. As the ambient conditions or application requirements change SAML dynamically switches MAC protocols to gain the desired performance. To the application SAML appears as a traditional MAC protocol and its benefits are realized without troubling the application with the underlying complexity. To test the system we implement SAML in TinyOS 2.x and realize three prototypes containing up to five MACs. We evaluate the system in controlled tests and real-world environments using a new gateway device that integrates a 802.15.4 radio with Android phones. Our experimental results show that SAML provides an efficient and reliable MAC switching, while adheres to the application specified requirements.


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