EUNOMIA: A Fast and Collaborative Interference Avoidance Technique for Wireless Medical Devices


Interference has long been a serious problem in wireless communication systems, causing packet loss and degradation in communication quality. The problem becomes life-threatening when it happens with medical devices. The need to address this problem is exacerbated by the increasing use of wireless embedded devices in a range of medical applications. This paper presents an interference avoidance protocol, called Eunomia, that is especially suited for wireless medical devices. Eunomia is based on the notion of dynamic channel switching upon detection of interference. There are three novel features of Eunomia. The first is proactive monitoring of one or more backup channels, and channel switching to a known available backup channel which results in minimal downtime during channel switching—a necessity for medical devices. The second is exchange of priority information between interfering wireless devices wherein low-priority devices defer to safety critical devices and switch channels. The third novelty is the ability to exploit the availability of additional radios on a device to alleviate the overhead associated with interference avoidance. We have implemented and evaluated Eunomia on the TelosB and MicaZ wireless sensor nodes and present experimental results that demonstrate its efficacy.

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