Improving the IEEE802.15.4 Re-Association Process in Mobile Sensor Networks

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


ACTA Press

Place of Publication



School of Engineering




Originally published as: Zen, K. & Habibi, D. (2008). Improving the IEEE802.15.4 Re-Association Process in Mobile Sensor Networks. In Communication Systems and Networks (CSN 2008). pp. 119 - 124. Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Original paper available here


Node mobility raises a few problems in mobile sensor networks, especially at the medium access control (MAC) layer. This is due to the low communication range and low power in each sensor node. In the standard IEEE 802.15.4 protocol with beacon-enabled mode, the mobile node which moves from the coverage range of one coordinator to the next coordinator exhausts some time and energy in the re-association process. As the speed of the node increases, more time and energy is consumed in the re-association process, which results in throughput degradation. This paper presents a technique for significantly improving the re-association process of the standard protocol by giving options to the mobile node to either start an orphan device realignment process or to start an association process based on the beacon signal level. Our enhanced protocol outperforms the standard protocol by achieving faster re-association, more energy efficiency and higher throughput.