Wireless Networking

How do we achieve reliable, fast, and low-powerwireless communication for sensors and actuators? We created new techniques to improve physical layer, link layer, and network layer performance, particularly for nodes subject to building dynamics. These techniques include:

  • The first collision detection scheme for wireless networks. This scheme can 1) differentiate between packet loss due to collisions vs. bad link quality 2) identify the nodes that caused the colllision 3) recover one of the packets from the collision. This technique is now used by about half of all ZigBee radios.
  • The Flash flooding protocol exploits the capture effect to reduce flooding latency by allowing nodes to propagate the flood simultaneously, thereby eliminating neighborhood contention. Our results indicate that Flash can reduce latency by as much as 80%, achieving flooding latencies near the theoretical lower bound without sacrificing coverage, reliability or power consumption. This protocol is now being used by a smart grid company.
  • A network layer protocol that finds links in buildings that are most likely not to be affected by dynamics in the building. The algorithm estimates the worst case latency for each link and schedules multiple packet streams while providing a form of real-time delivery guarantees. This algorithm was adapted by an oil company for refinery monitoring.


Sirajum Munir, Shan Lin, Enamul Hoque, S. M. Shahriar Nirjon, John A. Stankovic, and Kamin Whitehouse. Addressing Burstiness for Reliable Communication and Latency Bound Generation in Wireless Sensor Networks. The 9th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN '10).  Stockholm, Sweden, April 12-16, 2010.
(18% acceptance rate)

Jiakang Lu, and Kamin Whitehouse. Flash Flooding: Exploiting the Capture Effect for Rapid Flooding in Wireless Sensor Networks. The 28th Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM 2009).  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Apr. 2009.
(19.6% acceptance rate)

Jiakang Lu, and Kamin Whitehouse. "Poster Abstract: Exploiting the capture effect for low-latency flooding in wireless sensor networks". The 6th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys).  Raleigh, NC, Nov. 2008.

Kamin Whitehouse, Alec Woo, Fred Jiang, Joseph Polastre, David Culler.  "Exploiting the Capture Effect for Collision Detection and Recovery."  The Second IEEE Workshop on Embedded Networked Sensors (EmNetS-II).  Sydney, Australia. May 30-31, 2005. (ppt)