A Performance Analysis of a CSMA Multihop Packet Radio Network

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Virginia Tech

In a packet radio network, multiple terminals broadcast information over a shared communications medium. Messages are transmitted from a source terminal to a destination terminal over multiple relays or hops. The actions of one terminal in the network directly affect the actions of other terminals within its range.

The analysis of packet radio networks is complex because system performance depends on the topology of the terminals in the network along with the random access protocol used. Researchers have been unable to model a packet radio network in its most general form. In this project, a model is developed for specific topologies of a packet radio network with a given random access protocol.

The sponsor of this project has developed a packet radio network for an indoor wireless alarm system. At the start of the project, the effect of message collisions on system performance was unknown. As a result of this research, a collision model for the network has been developed for topologies of four, five, and six alarm units. The model has been validated with actual system testing. Furthermore, the effects of indoor propagation on system performance have been studied. The results of this work have led to the development of an installation plan for the indoor wireless alarm system.

indoor propagation, CSMA, packet radio, random access