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Multiple Access Protocol

Iwao Sasase
Department of Information and
Computer Science, Keio University

Iwao Sasase, Keio University

Multiple Access Protocol
If many users share a channel
and two or more users transmit packets simultaneously,
collision may occur.

To avoid the collision, suitable access protocol

should be selected.

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• Signal space is divided and assigned to each user.
• Orthogonal (no interference among users)
• Assignment (ex. frequency, time slot, code)
– Static Assignment
• Simple, but inefficient.
– Demand Assignment
• Efficient, but circuit control function are required.

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Multiple Access Protocol

Scheduled Access Random Access

Static Demand Repeat Reservation

Assignment Assignment Random Access Random Access

• FDMA • Polling/Selection • ALOHA • r-ALOHA

• TDMA • Token-passing • s-ALOHA • PRMA
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Multiple Access Classification

• Scheduled access protocol

– By adjusting each user's transmitting time or
frequency, it avoids
that two or more users transmit simultaneously.
• Random access protocol
– Although collision occurs because two or more users
access to a channel simultaneously, collision can be

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Scheduled Multiple Access Protocol
• Static assignment
– Whether each user is active or not,
channel assignment is fixed to each user.
– TDMA: Time Division Multiple Access
– FDMA: Frequency Division Multiple Access
• Demand assignment
– Channel assignment to each user is done on demand
– Central control: Polling/Selection
– Distributed control: Token Passing Protocol

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TDMA: Time Division
Multiple Protocol
• 4 slots per frame
• guard time between slot
– It avoids that overlapped transmission of two or more users
due to the difference of a propagation delay










1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2

Frame 1 Frame 2
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TDMA Frame Structure of PDC
1 Frame (3 Slots)
Base Station

Transmission #3 #1 #2 #3

Guard Time
Reception #1 #2 #3 #1

The mode of
Transmission Reception Idle Transmission
mobile station #1

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• Channel capacity of one slot per frame is assigned to each
– The amount of traffic which can be transmitted within a
slot must be able to accommodate the maximum user
• The user with small traffic wastes channel capacity.
– More slot assignment or slot time variation in a frame per
user can be developed to increase the channel utilization.
• Although there is a waste of resource, it is used widely due to
simple implementation.
– Synchronization among users is required.

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FDMA: Frequency Division
Multiple Access
Frequency bands are divided and each band is assigned to each

By setting guard band between

channels, the interference between
Frequency users can be avoided.

Guard Band

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• Each user can always use the channel.
• Since other users cannot use the channel of the user
who does not have data to transmit, channel capacity may
be wasted.
• Since synchronization between users is unnecessary,
it is simpler than TDMA.

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CDMA: Code Division
Multiple Access
Spread Spectrum
SSMA: Spread Spectrum Multiple Access
FH-SS: Frequency Hopping Spectrum Spread
DS-SS: Direct Sequence Spectrum Spread

Channel 1
Channel 2


Time Channel N

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The features of CDMA

PN (Pseudo-Noise) spreading code whose chip rate is

much faster bit rate than is multiplied to data.

Anti-interference property

Performance depends on multi user interference.

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Multiple Access Protocol Comparison
Advantages Disadvantages Note

FDMA Asynchronous between High frequency stability is In the case of mobile

channels. required. communications, SCPC
Not flexible. system is common.

TDMA A demand of frequency Burst transmission. Peak As user bit rate and
stability is comparatively electric power is large. multiplex number increases,
easy. Synchronization among the performance degradation
users is required. due to multipass fading
becomes serious.

CDMA Hand over is easy. The same Equipment is a little Efficiency depends on
frequency can be used also in complicated. Highly precise various elements such as
adjacent cells. Anti- transmitted electric power propagation characteristic,
multipass fading and control is required. CN ratio, transmitted power
interference rejection control error, etc.
properties are inherent.

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Demand Assignment
Multiple Access Protocol
• A channel is assigned only to a user with the necessity of transmission.
– Scheduling of the transmission is carried out so that competition
may not take place.
– The user without transmitting data does not waste a channel.
– In order to judge the user who needs access to a channel, a part of
channel capacity must be used.
• Demand assignment
– Central Control Station: Polling/Selection
– Distribution to all users: Token Passing Protocol

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The central control station which manages
transmission carries out polling of users
according to the turn decided beforehand.
The user who received polling
• transmits the message which shows
Central Control Station that there is no data to transmit.
• transmits all the messages in the buffer.

The completion message

is sent after transmitting the last packet.
Advantage: simple and has fairness.
Disadvantage: weak to failure of the central control
station, and the delay until it acquires a
transmitting right is comparatively long.
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Token Passing Protocol
The special frame (Token) is passed
in order from one terminal
to another terminal.
A terminal receives the token.
The transmitting right is acquired.

It can transmit until

the token timer becomes timeout
or transmitting data is completed.

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Token Passing Protocol
Advantage: The transmitting right
can be granted to each terminal equality.
Disadvantage: When load is small,
in order that the token may go round,
futility occurs.
Since there are loss of the token
or duplication of tokens,
a system must become complicated.

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Packet Wireless Communication
A user accesses a channel at random.
Multiple access by many users is easy.

Effective use of a channel is important.
Access Protocol
Scheduled Access Protocol
Random Access Protocol
Hybrid Access Protocol

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Random Access
Two or more users access
the same channel Collision occurs
to share simultaneously.

It is necessary to find a way to avoid collision.

A random access protocol with a collision.

• Repeat random access
• Reservation random access

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Repeat Random Access Protocol
At the start of transmission, existence of other users cannot be judged.
If two or more users start transmission simultaneously,
a collision will occur.

The influence of a collision to be minimized.

light load A channel can be accessed immediately.

heavy load Transmitting right cannot be easily obtained.

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ALOHA developed at Hawaii University in 1970.

When packet is generated, it is transmitted simultaneously.

If there are not other users, If other users

a base station can transmit transmit simultaneously,
the acknowledgment packet (ACK). a collision will occur.

A success of transmission is A base station receives

checked by reception of ACK. the collided signal,
and ACK is not transmitted.

1 2 3 2 3
Collision Retransmission Retransmission t
Fig. Collision mechanism in ALOHA

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User Pure ALOHA

tr2 Packet 1
Packet 1
2 tr1 Retrans-

Packet 2
Packet 1 Packet 2
1 Retrans-

Success PacketCollision!
1 Packet 2 Success Success

t0 t1 t21+tp Time

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Slotted ALOHA
Pure ALOHA: If a part of packet overlaps with other packets,
a collision will occur.

Slotted ALOHA: Start time of packet transmission is synchronized.

A user transmits a packet in
the synchronous time slot.
Collision: overlapped No collision: success

1 2&3 2 3
Collision Retransmission Retransmission t
Fig. Collision mechanism in slotted ALOHA

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CSMA: Carrier Sense Multiple Access
check whether other users is transmitting or not
Before packet transmission (Carrier Sense)

Transmission is postponed
When other users are transmitting.
to avoid collision.

Due to the propagation delay between two users, carrier sense is

not detected even if two user transmit simultaneously, and thus,
collision might occur.

1 2
Carrier Sense Fig. Collision mechanism in CSMA

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CSMA Classification

• persistent CSMA: It transmits immediately after no carrier is sensed.

• p-persistent CSMA: It waits the time to be decided by probability p.
• nonpersistent CSMA: When carrier is sensed, transmission with
carrier sense is postponed at a fixed time.

• CDMA/CD: CSMA with Collision Detection

In the case of the cable network,
a collision is detected and transmission is abandoned.

adopted by Ethernet.
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ISMA: Inhibit Sense Multiple
• Although each user has to detect transmission of all users in CSMA,
it is very difficult in the wireless channel.
– Two or more users might be concealed with obstacles, such as a
building. (Hidden Terminal Problem)
• In ISMA, a base station uses another channel to inform the channel
status by sending a busy or idle signal.
– Inbound Channel: The channel which a user uses
for the communication to a base station.
– Outbound Channel: The channel which a base station transmits
to a user.

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DCF(Distributed Coordination
Function) in Wireless LAN
• CSMA/CA (Collision Avoidance) with ACK

• RTS(Request-to-send)/CTS(Clear-to-send)

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CSMA/CA (Collision Avoidance)
Transmit frame Wait
User 1 IFS

Transmit frame Random delay

User 2

Transmit frame
User 3 IFS IFS
Random delay (distributed coordination)
(IFS: Inter Frame Space, fixed)

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RTS (Request-to-send) /
CTS (Clear-to-send)
Base station ① CTS ③ ACK


RTS Transmit data frame
② ④

Terminal 2 time
(carrier sense OK)
①’ Network Allocation Vector Period

Transmission is not allowed

Terminal 3
(hidden terminal)
②’ Network Allocation Vector Period

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Protocol Comparison
Protocol Throughput
Pure ALOHA S = Ge − 2 G
Slotted ALOHA S = Ge − G
Unslotted G [1 + G + aG (1 + G + aG 2 )]e − G (1 + 2 a )
S =
1-persistent CSMA G (1 + 2 a ) − (1 − e − aG ) + (1 + aG )e − G (1 + a )
Unslotted Ge − aG
nonpersistent CSMA S = G (1 + 2 a ) + e − aG

aGe − aG
nonpersistent CSMA S = − aG
1 − e + a
G = offerd traffic,
a = τ T p , τ = propagatio n delay, T p = packet tra nsmission time

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Protocol Comparison

Reference: Wireless Information Network

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Reservation Random Access
The first packet transmits in a random access manner to
Obtain the channel reservation.
When the first packet The reserved channel is assigned to the user
transmission is successful. for remaining packet transmission.

After all packet transmission, the user returns the channel.

(Reservation Release)

When a new packet It competes again

is transmitted. for the channel reservation.

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r-ALOHA: Reservation ALOHA
• Slotted ALOHA is used for slot reservation.
– A channel has time-slotted structure and a packet is
transmitted only at the starting point of each slot.
– Each frame is constituted by the slots of same number.
• Once a user obtains the reservation, the reserved slots
in the following frames will be assigned.
• The users to whom slots are not assigned can compete,
empty slots in slotted ALOHA protocol.

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PRMA: Packet Reservation
Multiple Access
• A user reads the first packet accumulated in the buffer, and
transmits it by using slotted ALOHA protocol.
If this first packet cannot be transmitted within a 40mm
second, the voice packet transmission is canceled.
If it succeeds in transmission, the slots in the following
frames will be reserved. Reservation can be hold until all
packets are transmitted.
• Since the user who received reserved assignment can transmit
one packet correctly per frame, packet transmission delay
becomes equal to delay of the first packet.

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