This paper proposes a fully distributed self-configuration media access control (MAC) protocol for IEEE 802.11-based multi-hop mobile ad hoc networks. The proposed MAC protocol targets to determine proper stations to become supervisors to support network management. This study first formulates the supervisor determination problem as the virtual backbone construction problem. Because determining the optimal number of supervisors falls into the NP-complete problem, this study uses many rules to determine enough supervisors to support network management. The determined supervisors are divided into multiple sets, and the supervisors in a set need to transmit beacon frames in the specific beacon interval. Using the proposed rules, not all the stations need to transmit beacon frames in each beacon interval. Moreover, the neighboring supervisors do not transmit beacon frames in the same beacon interval, thereby avoiding network partitioning, saving battery power, and achieving reliable broadcast. Simulation results confirm that the proposed MAC protocol actually determines enough and minimum number of supervisors. Results also show that the proposed MAC protocol leads to less packet collisions and reduces energy consumption, compared with the IEEE 802.11 standard.
Journal of Network and Computer Applications 56, pp.149-157