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Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Volume 2017, Article ID 8267162, 14 pages
Review Article

Traffic Adaptive MAC Protocols in Wireless Body Area Networks

Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Computing, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Farhan Masud; moc.liamg@tcatnoc.nahraf

Received 18 July 2016; Accepted 19 October 2016; Published 12 January 2017

Academic Editor: Dario Bruneo

Copyright © 2017 Farhan Masud 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.


In Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs), every healthcare application that is based on physical sensors is responsible for monitoring the vital signs data of patient. WBANs applications consist of heterogeneous and dynamic traffic loads. Routine patient’s observation is described as low-load traffic while an alarming situation that is unpredictable by nature is referred to as high-load traffic. This paper offers a thematic review of traffic adaptive Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols in WBANs. First, we have categorized them based on their goals, methods, and metrics of evaluation. The Zigbee standard IEEE 802.15.4 and the baseline MAC IEEE 802.15.6 are also reviewed in terms of traffic adaptive approaches. Furthermore, a comparative analysis of the protocols is made and their performances are analyzed in terms of delay, packet delivery ratio (PDR), and energy consumption. The literature shows that no review work has been done on traffic adaptive MAC protocols in WBANs. This review work, therefore, could add enhancement to traffic adaptive MAC protocols and will stimulate a better way of solving the traffic adaptivity problem.