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Special Issue "IEEE 802.11 and Wireless Sensors Network"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Sensor Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Eduard Garcia-Villegas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Network Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: wireless networks, wireless communications, Wi-Fi, IEEE 802.11, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It’s been almost 25 years since the release of the first IEEE 802.11 standard. The convenience of avoiding cable-based deployments and enabling user mobility using a license-free frequency band rapidly made IEEE 802.11 a widespread technology, even becoming a de facto standard for wireless LAN. In fact, that was the initial goal of the IEEE P802.11 Working Group: the development of a communications standard intended to provide wireless access to a LAN; that is to say, enabling wireless connectivity to portable computers such as laptops, netbooks, etc. However, the economy of scale that followed the early and rapid adoption of that technology, along with a very dynamic standardization and certification ecosystem through the Wi-Fi Alliance, spread its presence to a wide variety of scenarios and use cases, making Wi-Fi more than just a WLAN technology. Nowadays, billions of devices are connected via a Wi-Fi certified interface in a panoply of applications, many of which were not in scope when designing the technology.

Some of the scenarios not initially foreseen for the Wi-Fi technology include the wireless sensor networks (WSN) or, more generally, the Internet of Things (IoT); a market with phenomenal growth in perspective. Those applications impose a set of requirements that differ largely from the familiar scenario of a domestic or enterprise-level LAN: support to a large number of connected devices, long coverage range, and low energy consumption, among others. However, the IEEE P802.11WG and the Wi-Fi Alliance have always been vigilant and ready to embrace the challenge of pushing forward the technology according to the evolving needs for wireless connectivity.

IEEE 802.11s, IEEE 802.11ah (Wi-Fi HaLow), IEEE 802.11ba, and several features included in the IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) and under discussion for the future IEEE 802.11be (Wi-Fi 7), focus on improving the performance of Wi-Fi in a sensor network, or in an IoT scenario. Task Group TGbf even studies the use of IEEE 802.11 hardware as a motion or presence sensor. However, there are still challenges for the IEEE 802.11 technology in such scenarios.

For those reasons, this special issue is aimed at collecting high-quality research papers and review articles focusing on the latest trends in the use of IEEE 802.11 in wireless sensor network and IoT scenarios. We seek original papers showing recent advances in low-power, long-range Wi-Fi applications, papers identifying and tackling the new challenges of IEEE 802.11-based wireless sensor networks, the proposal of new mechanisms to improve Wi-Fi-enabled IoT, etc. that have not been published before and are not currently under review by other journals or conferences.

Dr. Eduard Garcia-Villega
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Use of IEEE 802.11 standards in applications for smart city, smart grid, or intelligent transportation systems
  • Performance evaluation of IEEE 802.11 features in WSN and IoT scenarios
  • Location-aware WSN and IoT applications based on IEEE 802.11 (including, but not limited to IEEE 802.11az)
  • IEEE 802.11-based Wake-Up Radio applications (including, but not limited to IEEE 802.11ba)
  • Latest advances in IEEE 802.11ah (Wi-Fi HaLow) networks
  • Latest advances for IoT and WSN in future IEEE 802.11be
  • IEEE 802.11-based wireless mesh networking for low power and sensor applications
  • Wi-Fi sensing techniques and applications
  • Cross-Technology communications for heterogeneous IoT (i.e. enabling communications between devices with non-compatible wireless NICs).

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Multimodal Network Architecture for Shared Situational Awareness amongst Vessels
Sensors 2021, 21(19), 6556; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21196556 - 30 Sep 2021
Viewed by 287
Abstract
To shift the paradigm towards Industry 4.0, maritime domain aims to utilize shared situational awareness (SSA) amongst vessels. SSA entails sharing various heterogeneous information, depending on the context and use case at hand, and no single wireless technology is equally suitable for all [...] Read more.
To shift the paradigm towards Industry 4.0, maritime domain aims to utilize shared situational awareness (SSA) amongst vessels. SSA entails sharing various heterogeneous information, depending on the context and use case at hand, and no single wireless technology is equally suitable for all uses. Moreover, different vessels are equipped with different hardware and have different communication capabilities, as well as communication needs. To enable SSA regardless of the vessel’s communication capabilities and context, we propose a multimodal network architecture that utilizes all of the network interfaces on a vessel, including multiple IEEE 802.11 interfaces, and automatically bootstraps the communication transparently to the applications, making the entire communication system environment-aware, service-driven, and technology-agnostic. This paper presents the design, implementation, and evaluation of the proposed network architecture which introduces virtually no additional delays as compared to the Linux communication stack, automates communication bootstrapping, and uses a novel application-network integration concept that enables application-aware networks, as well as network-aware applications. The evaluation was conducted for several IEEE 802.11 flavors. Although inspired by SSA for vessels, the proposed architecture incorporates several concepts applicable in other domains. It is modular enough to support existing, as well as emerging communication technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IEEE 802.11 and Wireless Sensors Network)
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Article
OFDMA Backoff Control Scheme for Improving Channel Efficiency in the Dynamic Network Environment of IEEE 802.11ax WLANs
Sensors 2021, 21(15), 5111; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21155111 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 458
Abstract
IEEE 802.11ax uplink orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA)-based random access (UORA) is a new feature for random channel access in wireless local area networks (WLANs). Similar to the legacy random access scheme in WLANs, UORA performs the OFDMA backoff (OBO) procedure to [...] Read more.
IEEE 802.11ax uplink orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA)-based random access (UORA) is a new feature for random channel access in wireless local area networks (WLANs). Similar to the legacy random access scheme in WLANs, UORA performs the OFDMA backoff (OBO) procedure to access the channel and decides on a random OBO counter within the OFDMA contention window (OCW) value. An access point (AP) can determine the OCW range and inform each station (STA) of it. However, how to determine a reasonable OCW range is beyond the scope of the IEEE 802.11ax standard. The OCW range is crucial to the UORA performance, and it primarily depends on the number of contending STAs, but it is challenging for the AP to accurately and quickly estimate or keep track of the number of contending STAs without the aid of a specific signaling mechanism. In addition, the one for this purpose incurs an additional delay and overhead in the channel access procedure. Therefore, the performance of a UORA scheme can be degraded by an improper OCW range, especially when the number of contending STAs changes dynamically. We first observed the effect of OCW values on channel efficiency and derived its optimal value from an analytical model. Next, we proposed a simple yet effective OBO control scheme where each STA determines its own OBO counter in a distributed manner rather than adjusting the OCW value globally. In the proposed scheme, each STA determines an appropriate OBO counter depending on whether the previous transmission was successful or not so that collisions can be mitigated without leaving OFDMA resource units unnecessarily idle. The results of a simulation study confirm that the throughput of the proposed scheme is comparable to the optimal OCW-based scheme and is improved by up to 15 times compared to the standard UORA scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IEEE 802.11 and Wireless Sensors Network)
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Article
Time-Sensitive Networking in IEEE 802.11be: On the Way to Low-Latency WiFi 7
Sensors 2021, 21(15), 4954; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21154954 - 21 Jul 2021
Viewed by 988
Abstract
A short time after the official launch of WiFi 6, IEEE 802.11 working groups along with the WiFi Alliance are already designing its successor in the wireless local area network (WLAN) ecosystem: WiFi 7. With the IEEE 802.11be amendment as one of its [...] Read more.
A short time after the official launch of WiFi 6, IEEE 802.11 working groups along with the WiFi Alliance are already designing its successor in the wireless local area network (WLAN) ecosystem: WiFi 7. With the IEEE 802.11be amendment as one of its main constituent parts, future WiFi 7 aims to include time-sensitive networking (TSN) capabilities to support low latency and ultra-reliability in license-exempt spectrum bands, enabling many new Internet of Things scenarios. This article first introduces the key features of IEEE 802.11be, which are then used as the basis to discuss how TSN functionalities could be implemented in WiFi 7. Finally, the benefits and requirements of the most representative Internet of Things low-latency use cases for WiFi 7 are reviewed: multimedia, healthcare, industrial, and transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IEEE 802.11 and Wireless Sensors Network)
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Article
AFOROS: A Low-Cost Wi-Fi-Based Monitoring System for Estimating Occupancy of Public Spaces
Sensors 2021, 21(11), 3863; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21113863 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Estimating the number of people present in a given venue in real-time is extremely useful from a security, management, and resource optimization perspective. This article presents the architecture of a system based on the use of Wi-Fi sensor devices that allows estimating, almost [...] Read more.
Estimating the number of people present in a given venue in real-time is extremely useful from a security, management, and resource optimization perspective. This article presents the architecture of a system based on the use of Wi-Fi sensor devices that allows estimating, almost in real-time, the number of people attending an event that is taking place in a venue. The estimate is based on the analysis of the “probe request” messages periodically transmitted by smartphones to determine the existence of Wi-Fi access points in the vicinity. The method considers the MAC address randomization mechanisms introduced in recent years in smartphones, which prevents the estimation of the number of devices by simply counting different MAC addresses. To solve this difficulty, our Wi-Fi sensors analyze other fields present in the header of the IEEE 802.11 frames, the information elements, to extract a unique fingerprint from each smartphone. The designed system was tested in a set of real scenarios, obtaining an estimate of attendance at different public events with an accuracy close to 95%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IEEE 802.11 and Wireless Sensors Network)
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