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Multichannel reliability and spectrum usage in real homes: Empirical studies for home-area sensor networks

Multichannel reliability and spectrum usage in real homes: Empirical studies for home-area sensor networks,10.1109/IWQOS.2011.5931349,Mo Sha,Gregory H

Multichannel reliability and spectrum usage in real homes: Empirical studies for home-area sensor networks   (Citations: 2)
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Home area networks (HANs) consisting of wireless sensors have emerged as the enabling technology for important applications such as smart energy. These applications impose unique QoS constraints, requiring low data rates but high network reliability in the face of unpredictable wireless envi- ronments. This paper presents two in-depth empirical studies on wireless channels in real homes, providing key design guidelines for meeting the QoS constraints of HAN applications. The spectrum study analyzes spectrum usage in the 2.4 GHz band where HANs based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard must coexist with existing wireless devices. We characterize the ambient wireless environment in six apartments through passive spectrum analysis across the entire 2.4 GHz band over seven days in each apartment. We find that the wireless conditions in these residential environments are much more complex and varied than in a typical office environment. Moreover, while 802.11 signals play a significant role in spectrum usage, there also exists non-negligible noise from non-802.11 devices. The multi- channel link study measures the reliability of different 802.15.4 channels through active probing with motes in ten apartments. We find that there is not always a persistently reliable channel over 24 hours, and that link reliability does not exhibit cyclic behavior at daily or weekly timescales. Nevertheless, reliability can be maintained through infrequent channel hopping, sug- gesting dynamic channel hopping as a key tool for meeting the QoS requirements of HAN applications. Our empirical studies provide important guidelines and insights in designing HANs for residential environments. In recent years, there has been growing interest in providing fine-grained metering and control of home appliances in resi- dential settings as an integral part of the smart grid. Wireless sensor networks offer a promising platform for home automa- tion applications because they do not require a fixed wired infrastructure. Hence, home area networks (HANs) based on wireless sensor network technology can be used to easily and inexpensively retrofit existing apartments and households without the need to run dedicated cabling for communication and power. Similarly, assisted living applications such as vital sign monitoring and real-time fall detection leverage HANs to provide continuous health monitoring in the patient's home. Such HAN applications have increasingly adopted the IEEE 802.15.4 wireless personal area network standard (1) to pro- vide wireless communication among sensors and actuators.
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    • ...(For brevity, we discuss this experiment in more detail in [23].) Hence, throughout our analysis, we use 85 dBm as our threshold value to denote a busy channel...

    Mo Shaet al. Multichannel reliability and spectrum usage in real homes: Empirical s...

    • ...We recently performed an in-depth empirical study into the reliability of HANs in real-world apartment buildings [1]...
    • ...More details on the study may be found in [1]...
    • ...To avoid the bursty packet loss observed in [1], ARCH blacklists bad channels so that they will not be used again for at least a short time period...
    • ...In [1], we observed that channel quality may vary significantly even within a network...
    • ...C++ simulator environment, and are driven by two sets of link quality data previously collected for [1]...

    Mo Shaet al. ARCH: Practical Channel Hopping for Reliable Home-Area Sensor Networks

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