Performance Analysis of Beacon-Less IEEE 802.15.4 Multi-Hop Networks

Rachit Srivastava, Anurag Kumar

We develop an approximate analytical technique for evaluating the performance of multi-hop networks based on beacon-less CSMA/CA as standardised in IEEE 802.15.4, a popular standard for wireless sensor networks. The network comprises sensor nodes, which generate measurement packets, and relay nodes which only forward packets. We consider a detailed stochastic process at each node, and analyse this process taking into account the interaction with neighbouring nodes via certain unknown variables (e.g., channel sensing rates, collision probabilities, etc.). By coupling these analyses of the various nodes, we obtain fixed point equations that can be solved numerically to obtain the unknown variables, thereby yielding approximations of time average performance measures, such as packet discard probabilities and average queueing delays. Different analyses arise for networks with no hidden nodes and networks with hidden nodes. We apply this approach to the performance analysis of tree networks rooted at a data sink. Finally, we provide a validation of our analysis technique against simulations.

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