Performance modelling and analysis of multiple coexisting IEEE 802.15.4 wireless sensor networks

  • Chao Ma

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    With the features of low-power and flexible networking capabilities IEEE 802.15.4 has been widely regarded as one strong candidate of communication technologies for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). It is expected that with an increasing number of deployments of 802.15.4 based WSNs, multiple WSNs could coexist with full or partial overlap in residential or enterprise areas. As WSNs are usually deployed without coordination, the communication could meet significant degradation with the 802.15.4 channel access scheme, which has a large impact on system performance.

    In this thesis we are motivated to investigate the effectiveness of 802.15.4 networks supporting WSN applications with various environments, especially when hidden terminals are presented due to the uncoordinated coexistence problem. Both analytical models and system level simulators are developed to analyse the performance of the random access scheme specified by IEEE 802.15.4 medium access control (MAC) standard for several network scenarios.

    The first part of the thesis investigates the effectiveness of single 802.15.4 network supporting WSN applications. A Markov chain based analytic model is applied to model the MAC behaviour of IEEE 802.15.4 standard and a discrete event simulator is also developed to analyse the performance and verify the proposed analytical model. It is observed that 802.15.4 networks could sufficiently support most WSN applications with its various functionalities. After the investigation of single network, the uncoordinated coexistence problem of multiple 802.15.4 networks deployed with communication range fully or partially overlapped are investigated in the next part of the thesis. Both nonsleep and sleep modes are investigated with different channel conditions by analytic and simulation methods to obtain the comprehensive performance evaluation. It is found that the uncoordinated coexistence problem can significantly degrade the performance of 802.15.4 networks, which is unlikely to satisfy the QoS requirements for many WSN applications. The proposed analytic model is validated by simulations which could be used to obtain the optimal parameter setting before WSNs deployments to eliminate the interference risks.
    Date of Award18 Jun 2014
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJianhua He (Supervisor)


    • IEEE 802.15.4
    • wireless sensor networks
    • MAC
    • hidden terminals
    • Markov chain

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