Reliable Physical-Layer Cross-Technology Communication with Emulation Error Correction

Yongrui Chen, Shuai Wang, Zhijun Li, Tian He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Physical-Layer Cross-Technology Communication (PHY-CTC), which achieves direct communication among heterogeneous technologies, brings great opportunities to help diverse IoT devices achieve harmonious coexistence through explicit coordination. The core technique of PHY-CTC is signal emulation which utilizes the signal of one technology (e.g., WiFi) to emulate the signal of another technology (e.g., ZigBee). The signal emulation based approach, however, inevitably introduces emulation errors which further lead to unreliable communication. In this paper, we aim to recover the intrinsic emulation errors and establish reliable PHY-CTC. We propose TwinBee which (i) explores chip-level error patterns and (ii) corrects emulation errors with symbol-level chip-combining coding/decoding and soft mapping. To achieve this, TwinBee dose not require accessing chip information as well as making hardware changes. We implement TwinBee on commodity devices (i.e., Laptops with Atheros AR2425 WiFi card and TelosB motes) and the USRPN210 platform (for physical layer evaluation). Experiment results show that TwinBee significantly improves the Packet Reception Ratio (PRR) of PHY-CTC from 50%-60% to more than 99%. Furthermore, we demonstrate the reliability of TwinBee in a data dissemination application over a network of 20 TelosB nodes, achieving over $42\times $ reduction of data dissemination delay compared to the state-of-the-art.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8975985
Pages (from-to)612-624
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received January 2, 2019; accepted December 28, 2019; approved by IEEE/ACM TRANSACTIONS ON NETWORKING Editor K. Jamieson. Date of publication January 30, 2020; date of current version April 16, 2020. This work was supported in part by the China National Key Research and Development Program under Grant 2018YFB2100300 and in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 6167219 and Grant BK20190336. This article was presented in part at the 2018 IEEE INFOCOM. (Corresponding authors: Zhijun Li; Tian He.) Yongrui Chen is with the Department of Electronic, Electrical and Communication Engineering, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China (e-mail:

Publisher Copyright:
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  • Reliable communication
  • coding
  • cross technology communication


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