Symbol-level cross-technology communication via payload encoding

Shuai Wang, Song Min Kim, Tian He

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

55 Scopus citations


To mitigate the issue of cross-technology interference (CTI) under dense wireless, cross-technology communication (CTC) was recently proposed, which enables direct communication among heterogeneous wireless technologies. We present SymBee, a novel ZigBee to WiFi CTC with symbol-level encoding for performance breakthrough from packet-level state-of-the-arts. SymBee is uniquely built on the new insight on ZigBee-WiFi physical layer cross-observability - i.e., the output on WiFi when fed with ZigBee signal (due to frequency overlap). This is analyzed experimentally and theoretically through rigorous derivations, from which the key innovation in SymBee design, i.e., payload encoding, stems; Conveying data across technologies is as simple as putting specific symbols in ZigBee packet payload, such that they yield unique and easily detectable patterns when cross-observed at WiFi. This symbol-level encoding is fully compatible with any commodity ZigBee device. Decoding at WiFi is a light-weight function that recycles the output from idle listening, thereby minimizing the computation while keeping compatibility to WiFi standard. SymBee is extensively evaluated both theoretically and experimentally through testbed evaluations on six distinct locations including outdoor. The result demonstrate that SymBee reaches the throughput of up to 31.25kbps, 145.4× faster than the state-of-the-art.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2018 IEEE 38th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781538668719
StatePublished - Jul 19 2018
Event38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2018 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: Jul 2 2018Jul 5 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems


Other38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuablecomments and feedback. This work was supported by part of NSF CNS-1717059, NSF CNS-1525235, NSF CNS-1718456 and NSF China 61629302.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 IEEE.


  • Cross technology Communication
  • Heterogeneous Wireless Network
  • Internet of Things
  • Physical Layer


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