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Novel Wireless Communication Technology for Networking on the Fly


Pub/Sub in the Air: A Novel Data-centric Radio Supporting Robust Multicast in Edge Environments  


  • Mohammed Elbadry, Stony Brook ECE PhD student
  • Fan Ye, Stony Brook ECE Faculty
  • Peter Milder, Stony Brook ECE Faculty
  • Yuanyuan Yang, Stony Brook ECE Faculty



2020 IEEE/ACM Symposium on Edge Computing (SEC)

Novel Technical Contribution

  • Novel data-centric MAC layer with beaconless design where mobile nodes can communicate instantaneously without delay.
  • Robust multicast protocol that can support up to 15 receivers concurrently reducing loss rates (0 – 90%) to below 10% across all receivers.
  • Open-source kernel and firmware (up to 150Mbps) available for edge devices (e.g., raspberry pi)


Societal Contribution

  • Accessible code at the following link:
  • The system can help with any on the fly data communication paradigm and enable new dynamics of data sharing. A few examples: low-latency live video feedback for vehicles on the road, navigational data sharing on the fly for direction. Indoor mapping constructions through smartphones sensors aggregation and dissemination. Multi-user AR/VR systems. IoT Dense network data dissemination.



Peer communication among edge devices (e.g., mobiles, vehicles, IoT and drones) is frequently data-centric: most important is obtaining data of desired content from suitable nodes; who generated or transmitted the data matters much less. Typical cases are robust one-to-many data sharing: e.g., a vehicle sending weather, road, position and speed data streams to nearby cars continuously. Unfortunately, existing address-based wireless communication is ill-suited for such purposes. We propose V-MAC, a novel data-centric radio that provides a pub/sub abstraction to replace the point-to-point abstraction in existing radios. It filters frames by data names instead of MAC addresses, thus eliminating complexities and latencies in neighbor discovery and group maintenance in existing radios. V-MAC supports robust, scalable and high rate multicast with consistently low losses across receivers of varying reception qualities. Experiments using a Raspberry Pi and a commodity WiFi dongle based prototype show that V-MAC reduces loss rate from WiFi broadcast's 50-90% to 1-3% for up to 15 stationary receivers, 4-5 moving people, and miniature and real vehicles. It cuts down filtering latency from 20μs in WiFi to 10μ s for up to 2 million data names, and improves cross stack latency 60-100× for TX/RX paths. We have ported V-MAC to 4 major WiFi chipsets (including 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac radios), 6 different platforms (Android, embedded and FPGA systems), 7 Linux kernel versions, and validated up to 900Mbps multicast data rate and interoperation with regular WiFi. We will release V-MAC as a mature, reusable asset for edge computing research.