MobiRate: Mobility-Aware Rate Adaptation Using PHY Information For Backscatter Networks

Wei Gong Simon Fraser University
Si Chen Simon Fraser University
Jiangchuan Liu Simon Fraser University
Zhi Wang Tsinghua University, P.R. China


In the past few years, various backscatter nodes have been invented for many emerging mobile applications, such as sports analytics, interactive gaming, and mobile healthcare. Backscatter networks are expected to provide a high-throughput and stable communication platform for those interconnected mobile nodes. Yet, through experiments, we find state-of-the-art rate adaptation methods for backscatter networks share a fundamental limitation of accommodating the hardware diversity of nodes because the common mapping paradigm that chooses the optimal rate based on the radio signal strength indicator (RSSI) or the like is hardly adaptable to hardware-dependent RSSIs. To address this issue, we propose MobiRate (Mobility-aware Rate adaptation) that fully exploits the mobility hints from PHY information and the characteristics of backscatter systems. The key insight is that mobility-hints, like velocity and position, can greatly benefit rate selection and channel probing. Specifically, we introduce a novel velocity-based loss rate estimation method that dynamically re-weighs packets based on time and mobility. In addition, we design a mobility-assisted probing trigger and a new selective-probing mechanism, significantly saving probing time. As MobiRate is fully compatible with the current standard, it is prototyped using a COTS RFID reader and a variety of commercial tags. Our extensive experiments demonstrate that MobiRate achieves up to 3.8x throughput gain over the state-of-the-art methods across a wide range of mobility, channel conditions, and tag types.

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