Understanding differences in MAC performance
Paper in proceedings, 2014
The suitability and performance of medium access protocols in vehicular environments is already being investigated over a long period of time. Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA) has been shown to perform sufficiently well in most situations and being able to support safety and efficiency vehicular applications. Recently, Self-organizing Time-Division Multiple Access (STDMA) is being considered as an alternative and has been shown to coordinate the channel slightly better under certain situations. However, when comparing both protocols the precise details of radio and network conditions and parametrization of the protocols are decisive on which protocol takes a slight lead. Consequently, scenarios can be constructed quite easily in which one protocol is superior over the other one. The focus of this work is thus not to absolutely compare both protocols, but rather to understand the strengths and weaknesses of both protocols in certain situations. In particular, we consider i) to which degree hidden nodes influence the coordination ability, ii) how an extended carrier sensing range is beneficial and iii) how temporary fading influences the performance of both MAC protocols. Our results show that while an extended carrier sensing range is only beneficial for CSMA, the existence and severity of fading is far less detrimental for STDMA than for CSMA.