Carrier sense multiple access
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Carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) is a probabilistic media access control (MAC) protocol in which a node verifies the absence of other traffic before transmitting on a shared transmission medium, such as an electrical bus, or a band of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Carrier sense means that a transmitter attempts to determine whether another transmission is in progress before initiating a transmission. That is, it tries to detect the presence of a carrier signal from another node before attempting to transmit. If a carrier is sensed, the node waits for the transmission in progress to end before initiating its own transmission. In other words, CSMA is based on the principle "sense before transmit" or "listen before talk".
Multiple access means that multiple nodes may send and receive on the medium. Transmissions by one node are generally received by all other nodes connected to the medium.
CSMA with collision detection
CSMA/CD is used to improve CSMA performance by terminating transmission as soon as a collision is detected, thus shortening the time required before a retry can be attempted.
CSMA with collision avoidance
In CSMA/CA collision avoidance is used to improve the performance of CSMA. If the transmission medium is sensed busy before transmission, then the transmission is deferred for a random interval. This random interval reduces the likelihood that two or more nodes waiting to transmit will simultaneously begin transmission upon termination of the detected transmission, thus reducing the incidence of collision.
Virtual time CSMA
VTCSMA is designed to avoid collision generated by nodes transmitting signals simultaneously, used mostly in hard real-time systems. The VTCSMA uses two clocks at every node, a virtual clock (vc) and a real clock (rc) which tells "real time". When the transmission medium is sensed to be busy, the vc freezes, when the transmission medium is free, it is reset. Hence, calculating vc runs faster than rc when channel is free, and vc is not initiated when the transmission medium is busy.
CSMA access modes
- 1-persistent CSMA is an aggressive transmission algorithm. When the transmitting node is ready to transmit, it senses the transmission medium for idle or busy. If idle, then it transmits immediately. If busy, then it senses the transmission medium continuously until it becomes idle, then transmits the message (a frame) unconditionally (i.e. with probability=1). In case of a collision, the sender waits for a random period of time and attempts to transmit again unconditionally (i.e. with probability=1). 1-persistent CSMA is used in CSMA/CD systems including Ethernet.
- Non persistent CSMA is a non aggressive transmission algorithm. When the transmitting node is ready to transmit data, it senses the transmission medium for idle or busy. If idle, then it transmits immediately. If busy, then it waits for a random period of time (during which it does not sense the transmission medium) before repeating the whole logic cycle (which started with sensing the transmission medium for idle or busy) again. This approach reduces collision, results in overall higher medium throughput but with a penalty of longer initial delay compared to 1–persistent.
- This is an approach between 1-persistent and non-persistent CSMA access modes. When the transmitting node is ready to transmit data, it senses the transmission medium for idle or busy. If idle, then it transmits immediately. If busy, then it senses the transmission medium continuously until it becomes idle, then transmits a frame with probability p. If the node does not transmit (the probability of this event is 1-p), it waits until the next available time slot. If the transmission medium is still not busy, it transmits again with the same probability p. This probabilistic hold-off repeats until the frame is finally transmitted or when the medium is found to become busy again (i.e. some other node has already started transmitting). In the latter case the node repeats the whole logic cycle (which started with sensing the transmission medium for idle or busy) again. p-persistent CSMA is used in CSMA/CA systems including Wi-Fi and other packet radio systems.
- Each node is assigned a transmission order by a supervisory node. When the transmission medium goes idle, nodes wait for their time slot in accordance with their assigned transmission order. The node assigned to transmit first transmits immediately. The node assigned to transmit second waits one time slot (but by that time the first node has already started transmitting). Nodes monitor the medium for transmissions from other nodes and update their assigned order with each detected transmission (i.e. they move one position closer to the front of the queue). O-persistent CSMA is used by CobraNet, LonWorks and the controller area network.
- Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (2003). 892 pp. ISBN 0-13-066102-3