A carrier sense multiple access protocol with power backoff (CSMA/PB)

Charles Colbourn, Minghao Cui, Errol L. Lloyd, Violet Syrotiuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this paper, we exploit space as a new dimension in collision resolution for a carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) protocol. Most contention-based medium access control protocols resolve collisions by backing off in time. We introduce power backoff (PB), the use of transmission power control to resolve collisions by backing off in space, and incorporate it into a CSMA protocol as CSMA/PB. Through analysis and simulation, we show that collision resolution using power backoff can be remarkably successful. Simulation results show that CSMA/PB outperforms IEEE 802.11 in both static and mobile ad hoc network scenarios. CSMA/PB improves end-to-end throughput and uses less energy. The resulting gains in throughput per unit energy can be substantial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1233-1250
Number of pages18
JournalAd Hoc Networks
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Carrier sense multiple access
  • Collision resolution
  • Spatial backoff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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