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An adaptive MAC protocol for real-time and reliable communications in medical cyber-physical systems

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Abstract

With the increasing demands for high-quality health-care services, medical cyber-physical systems over wireless body sensor networks have emerged as a promising solution for vital life signals monitoring. These systems require the communication protocols to be both reliable and real-time in data transmissions. IEEE 802.15.4 can be regarded as the canonical protocols in this area owing to its low-power and low-cost features. However, it falls short of reliability and timeliness guarantees. To address this issue, we propose an adaptive MAC protocol based on IEEE 802.15.4, namely Ada-MAC. The proposed protocol combines schedule-based on time-triggered protocol and contention-based CSMA/CA mechanism. It can not only enable dynamic Guaranteed Time Slots allocation but also provide differentiated services for different nodes according to their data types. The proposed protocol is implemented on the OMNeT++ platform. Extensive simulations are conducted to evaluate the performance of Ada-MAC in comparison with the traditional IEEE 802.15.4 MAC. The results show the superiority of the proposed protocol in terms of reliability and timeliness.

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Acknowledgments

This work is partially supported by Nature Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 60903153, 61203165, and 61103185, Liaoning Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 201202032, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (DUT12JR10, DUT1600-852021), and DUT Graduate School (JP201006).

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Correspondence to Xiangjie Kong.

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Cite this article

Xia, F., Wang, L., Zhang, D. et al. An adaptive MAC protocol for real-time and reliable communications in medical cyber-physical systems. Telecommun Syst 58, 125–138 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11235-014-9895-2

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Keywords

  • IEEE 802.15.4
  • Medical cyber-physical systems
  • Real-time communications
  • Reliability
  • MAC protocol