BlendVLC: A cell-free VLC network architecture empowered by beamspot blending

Jona Beysens, Qing Wang, Maxim Van Den Abeele, Sofie Pollin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


In visible light communication (VLC), the quality of communication is primarily dominated by line-of-sight links. To ensure an appropriate link quality anywhere, beamsteering has been proposed where transmitters (TXs) dynamically steer their beams to create beamspots on the users. However, these highly dynamic TXs face the beam tracking problem and result in highly variable illumination. In this work, we propose BlendVLC, a cell-free network architecture to improve the mobility robustness of users by blending the beamspots from both steerable and fixed TXs. We solve the beam tracking by designing a centimeter-level visible light positioning algorithm empowered by a neural network. Relying on this location information, we formulate and solve an optimization problem on the beamspot blending, and design a fast and scalable heuristic for large networks. We build a proof-of-concept testbed as well as a simulator to evaluate BlendVLC. We show that it achieves superior performance compared to denser networks with fully fixed TXs. For example, in a large-scale VLC network of 8 m x 4 m, BlendVLC improves the average system throughput by 30%, while only requiring half the number of TXs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINFOCOM 2021 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780738112817
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventINFOCOM 2021: IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications - Virtual/online event due to COVID-19, Virtual at Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 10 May 202113 May 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X


ConferenceINFOCOM 2021: IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications
Abbreviated titleINFOCOM 2021
CityVirtual at Vancouver
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Beamsteering
  • Cell-free
  • Mobility
  • Positioning
  • Tracking
  • Visible light communication


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