Technical Report 2014-023

Detecting and Avoiding Multiple Sources of Interference in the 2.4 GHz Spectrum

Venkatraman Iyer, Frederik Hermans, and Thiemo Voigt

December 2014

Sensor networks operating in the 2.4 GHz band often face cross-technology interference from co-located WiFi and Bluetooth devices. To enable effective interference mitigation, a sensor network needs to know the type of interference it is exposed to. However, existing approaches to interference detection are not able to handle multiple concurrent sources of interference. In this paper, we address the problem of identifying multiple channel activities impairing a sensor network s communication, such as simultaneous WiFi traffic and Bluetooth data transfers. We present SpeckSense, an interference detector that distinguishes between different types of interference using a unsupervised learning technique. Additionally, SpeckSense features a classifier that distinguishes between moderate and heavy channel traffic, and also identifies WiFi beacons. In doing so, it facilitates interference avoidance through channel blacklisting. We evaluate SpeckSense on common mote hardware and show how it classifies concurrent interference under real-world settings. We also show how SpeckSense improves the performance of an existing multichannel data collection protocol by 30%.

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