IB-MAC: Transmission latency-aware MAC for electro-magnetic intra-body communications

Seungmin Kim, Jeonggil Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Intra-body Communication (IBC) is a communication method using the human body as a communication medium, in which body-attached devices exchange electro-magnetic (EM) wave signals with each other. The fact that our human body consists of water and electrolytes allows such communication methods to be possible. Such a communication technology can be used to design novel body area networks that are secure and resilient towards external radio interference. While being an attractive technology for enabling new applications for human body-centered ubiquitous applications, network protocols for IBC systems is yet under-explored. The IEEE 802.15.6 standards present physical and medium access control (MAC) layer protocols for IBC, but, due to many simplifications, we find that its MAC protocol is limited in providing an environment to enable high data rate applications. This work, based on empirical EM wave propagation measurements made for the human body communication channel, presents IB-MAC, a centralized Time-division multiple access (TDMA) protocol that takes in consideration the transmission latency the body channel induces. Our results, in which we use an event-based simulator to compare the performance of IB-MAC with two different IEEE 802.15.6 standard-compliant MAC protocols and a state-of-the art TDMA-based MAC protocol for IBC, suggest that IB-MAC is suitable for supporting high data rate applications with comparable radio duty cycle and latency performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number341
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been supported by the Future Combat System Network Technology Research Center program of Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) (Project No. UD160070BD).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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