Published in Bhatti, G., Mehta, A., Sahinoglu, Z., Zhang, J., & Viswanathan, R. (2008). Modified beacon-enabled IEEE 802.15.4 MAC for lower latency. IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference, 2008. IEEE GLOBECOM 2008, 1-5. doi: 10.1109/GLOCOM.2008.ECP.173 ©2008 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE. This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


Industrial sensing, monitoring and automation offer a lucrative application domain for networking and communications. Wired sensor networks have traditionally been used for these applications because such networks adequately meet two vital requirements, i.e., low latency and high reliability, needed for an industrial deployment. Wired sensor networks, however, are not very cost effective due to higher components’ cost. These networks also lack the flexibility needed for subsequent topological changes. Wireless sensor networks (WSN), on the other hand, are less expensive and offer high degree of flexibility. Wireless networks, therefore, can offer an attractive and viable solution for industrial sensing and automation. IEEE 802.15.4 standard defines a specification for MAC and PHY layers for shortrange, low bit-rate, and low-cost wireless networks. However, the specified system is inefficient in terms of latency and reliability and fails to meet the stringent operational requirements for industrial applications. In this paper, we propose a set of new MAC superframes with an aim to enhance both performance metrics. We then use simulation to compare the performance of our proposed systems with that of the one specified in IEEE 802.15.4 standard.