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MAC Protocols for

High Speed LANs

BY: Lakhvir Singh

Parminder Singh


 MAC: Media Access Control

It is a sublayer of DLL. It provides interface
b/w LLC & Physical layer.
 Protocols are a set of rules
 LAN: Local Area Network

MAC Protocols
 Slotted ALOHA
 Token Ring
 Token Bus


 ALOHA developed at university of Hawaii at

Honolulu in 1970.
 This is used to solve channel allocation problem.
 Two versions of ALOHA:
Slotted ALOHA


 Pure ALOHA uses a simple idea that is to let users

transmit whenever they have data to send.
 Collisions will be there & the colliding frame will
be destroyed.
 Due to feedback, a sender can find out whether or
not its frame was destroyed.
 If no ACK received with in a time period , sender
resends after waiting.


In Pure ALOHA, only about 18.4% is the

successful transmissions.
If the first bit of a frame overlaps with just the
last bit of a frame , both frames will be totally
Slotted ALOHA
 A sender sends a frame according to time slot.
 The total time is divided into time intervals.
 Each time interval corresponds to one frame.
 Sender sends out frame at start of slot time only.
 In case of re-transmission: sender waits for a
number of time slot and then re-sends.

Slotted ALOHA

 Boxes indicate frames. Shaded boxes indicate

frames which are in the same slots.
 In Slotted ALOHA, only about 36.8% is the
successful transmissions.

Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA)

 CSMA is a protocol in which a sender verifies the

absence of other traffic before transmitting on a
shared channel.
 "Carrier Sense" describes the fact that a
transmitter uses feedback from a receiver.
 It tries to detect the presence of an signal from
another station before attempting to transmit.
 If a carrier is sensed, the station waits for the
transmission in progress to finish before starting its
own transmission. 9
Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA)

 "Multiple Access" describes the fact that multiple

stations send and receive on the medium.
Transmissions by one sender are generally received
by all other stations using the medium.
 Three types: 1-persistent

1-persistent CSMA
 When the sender is ready to transmit data, it checks
the physical medium
 Station wishing to transmit listens and obeys
1. If medium idle, transmit; otherwise, go to step 2
2. If medium busy, listen until idle; then transmit
 1-persistent stations are greedy
 If two or more stations waiting, collision is
Nonpersistent CSMA

 This protocol is less greedy than 1-persistent.

1. If medium is idle, transmit; otherwise, go to 2
2. If medium is busy, wait for random time and
repeat 1
 Random delays reduces probability of collisions.
 However, capacity is wasted because medium will
remain idle following end of transmission
 Even if stations waiting to access
p-persistent CSMA

 When the sender is ready to send data, it checks

continually the medium.
 Station wishing to transmit listens and obeys
1. If medium idle, transmit with probability p.(If the
sender chooses not to transmit,the sender waits until the next
available time slot and transmits again with the same
probability p. This process repeats until the frame is sent.)
2. If medium busy, listen until idle and repeat step 1.

Value of p?
 n stations waiting to send
 At end of a transmission, expected/average number of
stations attempting to transmit is:
 np
 If np > 1, higher chance of a collision
 Repeated attempts to transmit almost guaranteeing more
collisions as retries compete with new transmissions
 Eventually, all stations trying to send
 Continuous collisions  zero throughput
 So np < 1 for expected peaks of n
 If heavy load expected, p small
 However, as p made smaller, stations wait longer

 The CSMA/CD protocol functions somewhat like a

dinner party in a dark room.
 Everyone around the table must listen for a period
of quiet before speaking (Carrier Sense).
 Once a space occurs everyone has an equal chance
to say something (Multiple Access).
 If two people start talking at the same instant they
detect that fact, and quit speaking (Collision

 With CSMA, collision occupies medium for

duration of transmission
 With CSMA/CD, stations listen while transmitting
1. If medium idle, transmit, otherwise, step 2
2. If busy, listen for idle, then transmit
3. If collision detected, stop frame transmission and
send jam signal.
4. After jam signal, wait for random time then start
from step 1
IEEE 802.3 Frame Format

Ethernet is similar, but length is replaced by type

Both has min frame size = 512 bits (64 octets)
“Taking Turns” MAC Protocols

 Involve a controlled access

 No collision!
 A station cannot send unless been
 There are two main types:
 Polling
 Token-passing

The Polling Scheme

 The master/central
node “invites” slave
nodes to transmit in
 Main concerns:
 polling overhead
 latency
 single point of
failure (master)

Token Ring

 Developed from IBM's commercial token ring

 Because of IBM's large presence, token ring has
gained broad acceptance
 But, never achieved popularity of Ethernet!
 Currently, large installed base of token ring
 Market share likely to decline

Ring Operation
 Each repeater connects to two others via
unidirectional transmission links
 Single closed path
 Data transferred bit by bit from one repeater to the
 Repeater regenerates and retransmits each bit
 Frame removed by transmitter after one trip round

Ring Repeater States

IEEE 802.5 Frame Format

Data Frame

Token Frame

IEEE 802.5 MAC Protocol-
Token Passing
 A special frame (i.e. token) circulates continuously
 Station waits for the token
 Changes one bit in token to make it SOF for data frame
 Append rest of data frame
 Frame makes round trip and is absorbed by
transmitting station
 Inserts new token when transmission has finished
 How long to hold token – token holding time (THT)
 Under light loads, some inefficiency
 Under heavy loads, round robin 24
Token Ring

LAN Performance Comparison

Wireless LAN Overview

 A wireless LAN uses wireless medium

 Saves installation of LAN cabling
 Eases relocation and other modifications to network
 Popularity of wireless LANs has grown rapidly
 Role for the wireless LAN
 Manufacturing plants, stock exchange trading floors, warehouses
 Historical buildings
 Small offices where wired LANs not economical
 IEEE has specified this technology in 802.11
standard 27
IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN
 802.11b  802.11a
 2.4-2.5 GHz unlicensed  5-6 GHz range
radio spectrum  up to 54 Mbps
 up to 11 Mbps  802.11g
 widely deployed, using  2.4-2.5 GHz range
base stations  up to 54 Mbps

 All use CSMA/CA for MAC protocol

 All have infrastructure and ad-hoc network

Infrastructure Approach

 Wireless host communicates with an access point

 Basic Service Set (BSS) (a.k.a. “cell”) contains:
 wireless stations

 one access point (AP)

 BSSs combined to form a distribution system (DS)

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Ad Hoc Approach

 No AP!
 Wireless stations communicate with each other
 Typical usage:
 “laptop” meeting in conference room, car

 interconnection of “personal” devices

 battlefield

 IETF MANET (Mobile Ad hoc

Networks) working group
looks into this approach
 Special needs such wireless routing, security

IEEE 802.11: MAC protocol

 Collision if 2 or more nodes transmit at same time as

the wireless channel is shared
 CSMA makes sense:
 get all the bandwidth if you’re the only one transmitting
 shouldn’t cause a collision if you sense another
 Thus, it uses CSMA with collision avoidance
 Not CD because detecting collision is difficult in wireless
 Two-handshaking used