A simple cross-layer mechanism for congestion control and performance enhancement in a localized multiple wireless body area networks


Commercialization of the wireless body area network (WBAN) envisions future new normal for WBAN devices coexistence in a localized area. The coexistence may allow devices to freely change positions, associate, or dissociate with the neighbours as users interact. Devices’ interaction in a stationary or mobile fashion radiates heat and also competes for the limited network resources resulting to unreliable communication and other performance challenges. Besides alarming user safety, device mobility affects network performance through topology changes, which result to recursive link disconnections, energy waste, packet delay, degraded throughput, and congestion due to excessive control messaging during route repair. In this article, we propose WBAN performance optimization criteria focusing on improving energy efficiency, network throughput, and reducing the end to end delay in multiple existence schemes. Firstly, we propose an alternative routing algorithm, whose routing decision depends on a cost function considering the parameterized residue energy to node distance ratio, link energy reliability, and specific heat absorption in addition to node sequence number and hop count as fundamental route selection metrics. Secondly, we implement congestion control adaptation in the medium access control (IEEE 802.11MAC) mechanism, which improves throughput, reduces congestion, and delay. Due to link discontinuities during mobility, we demonstrate a comparative network performance to address the effect of WBAN speed at different hello intervals. The comparative analysis show, protocol implementation with a cross-layer approach outperforms the conventional protocol without MAC adaptations in terms of energy efficiency, network throughput, and a reduced end to end delay, by an average of 0.45%, 2.8%, and 13.7%, respectively.

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This work was supported by the Key Laboratory of Advanced Marine Communication and Information Technology, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China.

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QL designed the research work and reviewed the article, KGM conducted simulations, results analysis, and preparation of the article, whereas CZ and SW proofread the article and revised the organization structure.

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Correspondence to Kefa G. Mkongwa.

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Liu, Q., Mkongwa, K.G., Zhang, C. et al. A simple cross-layer mechanism for congestion control and performance enhancement in a localized multiple wireless body area networks. J Ambient Intell Human Comput (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12652-020-02802-5

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  • Congestion control
  • Energy efficiency
  • Mobility
  • Routing
  • Wireless body area networks (WBAN)