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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016, Article ID 3184642, 11 pages
Research Article

RLT Code Based Handshake-Free Reliable MAC Protocol for Underwater Sensor Networks

1School of Computer Science, Qinghai Normal University, Xining, Qinghai 810008, China
2Department of Computer Science, State University of New York, New Paltz, NY 12561, USA
3School of Electronic Information Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China

Received 11 September 2015; Accepted 4 January 2016

Academic Editor: Jian-Nong Cao

Copyright © 2016 Xiujuan Du et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The characteristics of underwater acoustic channels such as long propagation delay and low bit rate cause the medium access control (MAC) protocols designed for radio channels to either be inapplicable or have low efficiency for underwater sensor networks (UWSNs). Meanwhile, due to high bit error, conventional end-to-end reliable transfer solutions bring about too many retransmissions and are inefficient in UWSN. In this paper, we present a recursive LT (RLT) code. With small degree distribution and recursive encoding, RLT achieves reliable transmission hop-by-hop while reducing the complexity of encoding and decoding in UWSN. We further propose an RLT code based handshake-free (RCHF) reliable MAC protocol. In RCHF protocol, each node maintains a neighbor table including the field of state, and packages are forwarded according to the state of a receiver, which can avoid collisions of sending-receiving and overhearing. The transmission-avoidance time in RCHF decreases data-ACK collision dramatically. Without RTS/CTS handshaking, the RCHF protocol improves channel utilization while achieving reliable transmission. Simulation results show that, compared with the existing reliable data transport approaches for underwater networks, RCHF can improve network throughput while decreasing end-to-end overhead.