A Detailed Simulation Study of the UWAN-MAC Protocol for Underwater Acoustic Networks
In this paper, we present a simulation study of UWAN-MAC, a recently proposed Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol for underwater acoustic networks. While the assumptions behind the protocol are interesting (coordinating the nodes’ transmissions through some sort of adaptive TDMA and saving energy through sleep/awake cycles), yet they bring further challenges into the picture, e.g., the need to keep nodes synchronized in an efficient way. We present a set of results that show how critical the assumptions behind the protocol are, and specifically focus on how quickly the network performance degrades in the absence of updated synchronization information. Our results show that a periodic resynchronization is necessary and allow a study of the tradeoff between the signaling overhead and the overall network performance, in terms of throughput, success ratio, asynchrony among nodes, and energy consumption.