Bootstrapping Battery-free Wireless Networks: Efficient Neighbor Discovery and Synchronization in the Face of Intermittency

Authors: 

Kai Geissdoerfer and Marco Zimmerling, TU Dresden

Abstract: 

Due to their favorable size, cost, and sustainability, battery-free devices are preferable in various applications. However, battery-free devices operate only intermittently since ambient energy sources, such as light and radio-frequency signals, are often too weak to continuously power the devices. This paper addresses the unsolved problem of efficient device-to-device communication in the face of intermittency. We present Find, the first neighbor discovery protocol for battery-free wireless networks that uses randomized waiting to minimize discovery latency. We also introduce Flync, a new hardware/software solution that synchronizes indoor light harvesting nodes to powerline-induced brightness variations of widely used lamps, which we exploit to further speed up neighbor discovery. Experiments with an open-source prototype built from off-the-shelf hardware components show that our techniques reduce the discovery latency by 4.3x (median) and 34.4x (99th percentile) compared with a baseline approach without waiting.

NSDI '21 Open Access Sponsored by NetApp

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BibTeX
@inproceedings {265035,
author = {Kai Geissdoerfer and Marco Zimmerling},
title = {Bootstrapping Battery-free Wireless Networks: Efficient Neighbor Discovery and Synchronization in the Face of Intermittency},
booktitle = {18th {USENIX} Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation ({NSDI} 21)},
year = {2021},
isbn = {978-1-939133-21-2},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi21/presentation/geissdoerfer},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = apr,
}