A stochastic time-domain model for burst data aggregation in IEEE 802.15.4 wireless sensor networks

Mohammad Sayad Haghighi, Yang Xiang, Vijay Varadharajan, Barry G. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In many network applications, the nature of traffic is of burst type. Often, the transient response of network to such traffics is the result of a series of interdependant events whose occurrence prediction is not a trivial task. The previous efforts in IEEE 802.15.4 networks often followed top-down approaches to model those sequences of events, i.e., through making top-view models of the whole network, they tried to track the transient response of network to burst packet arrivals. The problem with such approaches was that they were unable to give station-level views of network response and were usually complex. In this paper, we propose a non-stationary analytical model for the IEEE 802.15.4 slotted CSMA/CA medium access control (MAC) protocol under burst traffic arrival assumption and without the optional acknowledgements. We develop a station-level stochastic time-domain method from which the network-level metrics are extracted. Our bottom-up approach makes finding station-level details such as delay, collision and failure distributions possible. Moreover, network-level metrics like the average packet loss or transmission success rate can be extracted from the model. Compared to the previous models, our model is proven to be of lower memory and computational complexity order and also supports contention window sizes of greater than one. We have carried out extensive and comparative simulations to show the high accuracy of our model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6698362
Pages (from-to)627-639
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • IEEE 802.15.4
  • Sensor networks
  • batch traffic arrival
  • burst traffic
  • medium access control (MAC)


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