Misbehavior in multi-channel mac protocols

Yan Zhang, Loukas Lazos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Multi-channel MAC (MMAC) protocols are designed to coordinate multi-user access to several non-overlapping frequency bands. They are primarily tasked with the efficient and fair bandwidth utilization under a variety of traffic load conditions, presuming that terminals follow the protocol specifications. However, selfish terminals can manipulate the protocol parameters to gain an unfair share of the common bandwidth. The problem of selfish MAC-layer misbehavior is well-studied for single-channel MAC protocols, but little attention has been paid when channel access is coordinated across multiple channels. In this paper, we address the problem of MAC-layer misbehavior in the multi-channel domain. We identify misbehavior strategies for popular classes of MMAC protocols (split-phase and dedicated control channel MMACs) and evaluate their impact on network throughput and fairness. We show that selfish terminals can easily isolate frequency bands for exclusive use without violating the protocol specifications. We develop corresponding detection and mitigation strategies that greatly reduce the throughput gains due to misbehavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8325316
Pages (from-to)760-774
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Wireless networks
  • channel access
  • media access control
  • misbehavior
  • multi channel
  • security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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