JAG: Reliable and predictable wireless agreement under external radio interference

Carlo Alberto Boano*, Marco Antonio Zuniga, Kay Romer, Thiemo Voigt

*Corresponding author for this work

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

15 Citations (Scopus)


Wireless low-power transceivers used in sensor networks typically operate in unlicensed frequency bands that are subject to external radio interference caused by devices transmitting at much higher power.communication protocols should therefore be designed to be robust against such interference. A critical building block of many protocols at all layers is agreement on a piece of information among a set of nodes. At the MAC layer, nodes may need to agree on a new time slot or frequency channel, at the application layer nodes may need to agree on handing over a leader role from one node to another. Message loss caused by interference may break agreement in two different ways: none of the nodes uses the new information (time slot, channel, leader) and sticks with the previous assignment, or-even worse-some nodes use the new information and some do not. This may lead to reduced performance or failures. In this paper, we investigate the problem of agreement under external radio interference and point out the limitations of traditional message-based approaches. We propose JAG, a novel protocol that uses jamming instead of message transmissions to make sure that two neighbouring nodes agree, and show that it outperforms message-based approaches in terms of agreement probability, energy consumption, and time-to-completion. We further show that JAG can be used to obtain performance guarantees and meet the requirements of applications with real-time constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2012 IEEE 33rd Real-Time Systems Symposium
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-1-4673-3098-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Event2012 IEEE 33rd Real-Time Systems Symposium, RTSS 2012 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 5 Dec 20127 Dec 2012


Conference2012 IEEE 33rd Real-Time Systems Symposium, RTSS 2012
Country/TerritoryPuerto Rico
CitySan Juan


  • Acknowledgement
  • Agreement
  • Handshake
  • JAG
  • Jamming
  • Radio Interference
  • Two Generals' Problem
  • Wireless Sensor Networks


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