Wireless Body Sensor Networks
Abstract: The rapid development of medical sensors has increased the interest in Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) applications where physiological data from the human body and its environment is gathered, monitored, and analyzed to take the proper measures. In WBANs, it is essential to design MAC protocols that ensure adequate Quality of Service (QoS) such as low delay and high scalability. This paper investigates Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols used in WBAN, and compares their performance in a high traffic environment. Such scenario can be induced in case of emergency for example, where physiological data collected from all sensors on human body should be sent simultaneously to take appropriate action. This study can also be extended to cover collaborative WBAN systems where information from different bodies is sent simultaneously leading to high traffic. OPNET simulations are performed to compare the delay and scalability performance of the different MAC protocols under the same experimental conditions and to draw conclusions about the best protocol to be used in a high traffic environment.