Analysis of collision probability in unsaturated situation

Qian Dong*, Waltenegus Dargie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceedingpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


A large number of the MAC protocols proposed for establishing wireless sensor networks are based on the 802.11 standard. The trade-off in these protocols is the control packet overhead and the retransmission cost due to collision without it. In this paper we evaluate the collision probability of a CSMA/CA MAC protocol in an unsaturated situation as a function of nodes' sampling and transmission rates. We provide an accurate and comprehensive analytical model in which a finite number of nodes exist. We assume an ideal channel condition, independent collision probability of packets as well as infrequent communication between sensor nodes. We will demonstrate that the collision probability changes from 0 to 0.22 as the sampling rate changes from 0 to 0.94Mbps. Moreover, we will demonstrate that collision only begins after the sampling rate reaches 0.31Mbps, which implies that for a sampling rate below this threshold, the control overhead can be avoided by altogether avoiding the collision avoidance mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAPPLIED COMPUTING 2010 - The 25th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event25th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2010 - Sierre, Switzerland
Duration: 22 Mar 201026 Mar 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Symposium on Applied Computing


Conference25th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2010


  • collision
  • energy-consumption
  • medium access control
  • unsaturated situation
  • wireless sensor networks


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