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Our Paper on modeling BLE-like protocols has been accepted to appear at the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing (TMC)

31.05.2017

Our paper titled "Neighbor Discovery Latency in BLE-Like Protocols" by Philipp H. Kindt, Marco Saur, Michael Balszun and Samarjit Chakraborty has been accepted to appear at the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing (TMC). It will appear in one of the upcoming issues.


Neighbor discovery is the procedure to initiate a first contact between two devices in a wireless network. In mobile networks, energy-efficient neighbor discovery protocols are important to achieve long battery lifetimes. Neighbor discovery protocols that apply multiple independent periodic intervals for scheduling listening phases and packet transmissions have been proposed more than 15 years ago. There are now being widely used e.g., in millions of devices using the ANT/ANT+-protocol and billions of devices using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Among all possibilities, they provide the most degrees of freedom to optimize (viz., the interval for sending beacons, the interval for reception phases and the reception window length).

However, until now, the expected values of the discovery latency for a given parametrization has not been known. In our paper, we for the first time present the theory to compute these latencies. Further, we can show that the latencies are bounded for almost all parametrizations, which makes such protocols usable in applications with deterministic latency requirements. Our paper will provide a better understanding of such protocols. Further, it will pave the way for saving large amounts of energy by optimizing parameters, e.g., in BLE networks. Finally, based on this model, we have designed a neighbor discovery protocol which achieves one order of magnitude shorter discovery latencies, while consuming the same amounts of energy. This protocol has been presented at IPSN 2017.

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