A Study on Hop Count Reduction of Frame Transfer in ZigBee Network by Wireless LAN Cooperation

Yosuke TANIGAWA  Seiya DEJIMA  Hideki TODE  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E102-B   No.7   pp.1279-1291
Publication Date: 2019/07/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.2018ANP0008
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Communication Technologies and Service Qualities in Various Access Networks)
ZigBee,  wireless LAN,  cooperation,  

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Recently, ZigBee has been attracting attention as a low-power and short-range wireless communication standard. In ZigBee networks, it is necessary to suppress frame transfer load because ZigBee needs to operate within severe capacity constraints and with low power consumption. However, in the typical environments in which ZigBee is used, such as smart home networks, WLAN (Wireless LAN) generally coexists, and radio interference occurs between the two networks. Existing studies focused on only interference avoidance. On the other hand, in this paper, we focus on adaptive cooperation between ZigBee network and WLAN. Specifically, from the viewpoints of WLANs that have wider communication range but have many idle periods in some environments like homes, we propose and study a hop count reduction method of ZigBee frame transfer by partially employing WLAN communication to transfer ZigBee frames. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that considers the adaptive cooperation between ZigBee network and WLAN, where some ZigBee frames are transferred via WLAN to the sink. This is a completely new approach different from existing interference avoidance approaches. Then, we evaluate the hop count reduction by considering the number and the positions of relay points to transfer ZigBee frames to WLAN, and ZigBee tree topology for frame transfer routes. Through the evaluation, two realistic deployment policies of the relay points are derived. Finally, as specific advantages from the hop count reduction, we demonstrate the performance improvement about sink arrival ratio and end-to-end transfer delay of ZigBee frames, and energy consumption.