Free Side-Channel Cross-Technology Communication in Wireless Networks

Song Min Kim, Shigemi Ishida, Shuai Wang, Tian He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Enabling direct communication between wireless technologies immediately brings significant benefits including, but not limited to, cross-technology interference mitigation and context-aware smart operation. To explore the opportunities, we propose FreeBee-a novel cross-technology communication technique for direct unicast as well as cross-technology/channel broadcast among three popular technologies of WiFi, ZigBee, and Bluetooth. The key concept of FreeBee is to modulate symbol messages by shifting the timings of periodic beacon frames already mandatory for diverse wireless standards. This keeps our design generically applicable across technologies and avoids additional bandwidth consumption (i.e., does not incur extra traffic), allowing continuous broadcast to safely reach mobile and/or duty-cycled devices. A new interval multiplexing technique is proposed to enable concurrent broadcasts from multiple senders or boost the transmission rate of a single sender. Theoretical and experimental exploration reveals that FreeBee offers a reliable symbol delivery under a second and supports mobility of 30 mph and low duty-cycle operations of under 5%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8000683
Pages (from-to)2974-2987
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Tian He received the Ph.D. degree, under Professor John A. Stankovic, from the University of Virginia, VA, USA. He is currently a Full Profes-sor with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He has authored and coauthored over 200 papers in premier network journals and conferences with over 20 000 citations (H-Index 59). His research includes wireless sensor networks, cyber-physical systems, intelligent transportation systems, real-time embed-ded systems and distributed systems, supported by the National Science Foundation, IBM, Microsoft, and other agencies. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award in 2009, the McKnight Land-Grant Chaired Professorship in 2011, the George W. Taylor Distinguished Research Award in 2015, the China NSF Outstanding Overseas Young Researcher I and II in 2012 and 2016, and five best paper awards in international conferences. He has served a few general/program chair positions in international conferences and on many program committees and also has been an Editorial Board Member for six international journals, including the ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks and the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMPUTERS.

Funding Information:
M. Li. Date of publication August 3, 2017; date of current version October 13, frequencies (e.g., Bluetooth to WiFi and ZigBee) and 2017. Thiswork was supported in part bythe National Science Foundation support a sender with a wider bandwidth (e.g., WiFi) GrantCNS-1718456.Aconferencepaper[26]containingpreliminaryresultsunderGrant CNS-1525235,Grant CNS-1444021,Grant CNS-1717059,and to reach multiple narrower-band receivers (e.g., WiFi to

Publisher Copyright:
© 1993-2012 IEEE.


  • Wireless
  • cross-technology communication


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