Improving robustness of beacon-enabled IEEE 802.15.4 with Round-Robin channel diversity

Abstract : —Reliable wireless communication even in adverse conditions is the key for building the energy efficient and dependable Internet of Things. In this paper, we explore the benefits of channel diversity for enabling efficient wireless communication: we propose MRR (Multi-channel Round-Robin), a backward-compatible evolution of beacon-enabled IEEE 802.15.4 in which energy constrained nodes take advantage of additional active periods operating on different channels in a round-robin way. Each active period starts with a beacon sent on a cyclically changing channel, which then allows an associated device to transmit data on the channel used for the beacon. MRR schedules the additional active periods at carefully selected instants to avoid direct beacon collisions. To motivate our work, we first experimentally corroborate previous findings that channel diversity is an effective way of mitigating variable or poor transmission conditions. Then, we observe that channel diversity improves the quality of transmission even better than expected—it appears that wireless sensor nodes have a radiation pattern that changes significantly from one frequency channel to another, which often results in a considerably improved gain when using the right communication channel. The evaluation of the MRR scheme through measurements on a real indoor multihop testbed shows that the proposed scheme results in significantly improved Packet Reception Ratio even without resorting to e.g. channel blacklisting. These results confirm the benefits of multichannel operation and exhibit a fully functional solution that does not add a large overhead compared to using a single channel.
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Liviu-Octavian Varga, Martin Heusse, Roberto Guizzetti, Andrzej Duda. Improving robustness of beacon-enabled IEEE 802.15.4 with Round-Robin channel diversity. 2016 IEEE 27th Annual International Symposium on Personal, Indoor, and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC), Sep 2016, Valencia, France. ⟨10.1109/PIMRC.2016.7794840⟩. ⟨hal-01796585⟩

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