WNL to make the WIRELESS Iot super fast

WNL paper “Super Fast Link Set-up in Wi-Fi HaLow Networks” written by WNL members Dmitry Bankov and Evgeny Khorov in collaboration with Prof. Katarzyna Kosek-Szott and Marcin Trebunia (AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland) has been accepted for publication in IEEE Communication Letters. This research continues a series of WNL research into the network solutions for IoT and considers the problem of fast authentication and the association of big numbers of devices in Wi-Fi HaLow networks.

Wi-Fi HaLow is a version of Wi-Fi that is specialized in IoT scenarios, such as environmental monitoring, industrial automation, smart meters, and smart grids. It inherits many features of Wi-Fi, including the usage of random access to the channel. The usage of random access means that the devices contend for the channel access with each other, and several devices can try to transmit their data simultaneously which can hamper their transmissions, due to the interference of their signals. To limit the contention in networks with big numbers of devices, Wi-Fi HaLow includes many mechanisms that can be used to separate in time the transmissions of different devices. Most of these mechanisms can be used only after the successful association of device with the access point, but the problem of contention for channel access already exists at the stage when the devices set up the link with the access point.

To limit the contention for channel access among the devices during the link set-up, Wi-Fi HaLow introduces the centralized authentication control (CAC) protocol. With CAC, the access point periodically advertises a parameter — the authentication threshold — which practically determines the portion of devices that are allowed to send their authentication requests to the access point. By controlling this parameter the access point can limit the contention for channel access.

In the paper, WNL Lab presents a new algorithm to control the authentication threshold which allows the access point to set up the authentication threshold adaptively, according to the level of contention in the channel. It provides up to 30% faster link set-up in comparison with the algorithms known from the literature. With our algorithm, 8000 devices can associate with an access point in less than 2 minutes, which will provide fast recovery to Wi-Fi HaLow networks in case of a sudden power outage or network reset.

WNL Lab paper is published in the IEEE Communications Letters journal, which publishes high-quality short papers that are focused on theoretical and experimental advances in the general area of communications over different media and channels including wire, underground, waveguide, optical fiber, and storage channels. Both theoretical contributions (including new techniques, concepts, and analyses) and practical contributions (including system experiments and prototypes, and new applications) are encouraged. The journal focuses on the physical layer and the link layer of communication systems.

Wireless Networks Lab is a ‘Megagrant’ lab established in 2017 around the project on Cloudified Wireless Networks for 5G and beyond, led by Prof. Ian F. Akyildiz. The team regularly reports at leading IEEE conferences, runs industrial projects, and contributes to the standardization of wireless networks.