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Wi-BLE: On Cooperative Operation of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy under IPv6

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Lee, Myungsup; Lee, Taeseop; Kim, Hyung-Sin; Bahk, Saewoong

Issue Date
Journal of Communications and Networks, Vol.24 No.4, pp.489-502
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) are popular wireless communication techniques and with the development of integrated combo chips, it is common these days that a single mobile/edge/IoT device supports both Wi-Fi and BLE. Given that the two wireless techniques have clearly different pros and cons (e.g., high throughput vs. low power consumption), a device can experience significant performance improvement if the two link layers are utilized adaptively according to wireless environments. However, since it is a nontrivial challenge to address their heterogeneity, the two have been used for different purposes as separated silos. In this paper, we investigate how to operate Wi- Fi and BLE synergistically under IPv6 in the context of a low- power multihop network. Specifically, we design Wi-BLE , an interface between IPv6 and link layer that handles both control plane (multihop route construction) and data plane (link layer choice for data transmission) for IPv6 over Wi-Fi and BLE. In doing so, we consider various aspects of the two wireless links, such as throughput, transmission range, and power consumption. In addition, to compensate for the lack of a low-power routing protocol for BLE, we design MABLE, a submodule of Wi-BLE, that builds ad hoc routes energy-efficiently by deeply considering BLEs connection-based operation. We have implemented Wi- BLE on the Linux kernel and evaluated its performance on an indoor testbed. Our empirical results verify that the cooperative use of Wi-Fi and BLE improves reliability and energy efficiency significantly.
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