WiCop: Engineering WiFi temporal white-spaces for safe operations of wireless personal area networks in medical applications

Yufei Wang, Qixin Wang, Guanbo Zheng, Zheng Zeng, Rong Zheng, Qian Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


ZigBee and other wireless technologies operating in the (2.4GHz) ISM band are being applied in Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN) for many medical applications. However, these low duty cycle, low power, and low data rate medical WPANs suffer from WiFi co-channel interferences. WiFi interference can lead to longer latency and higher packet losses in WPANs, which can be particularly harmful to safety-critical applications with stringent temporal requirements, such as ElectroCardioGraphy (ECG). This paper exploits the Clear Channel Assessment (CCA) mechanism in WiFi devices and proposes a novel policing framework, WiCop, that can effectively control the temporal white-spaces between WiFi transmissions. Such temporal white-spaces can be utilized for delivering low duty cycle WPAN traffic. We have implemented and validated WiCop on SORA, a software-defined radio platform. Experimental results show that with the assistance of the proposed WiCop policing schemes, the packet reception rate of a ZigBee-based WPAN can increase by up to 116% in the presence of a heavy WiFi interferer. A case study on the medical application of WPAN ECG monitoring demonstrates that WiCop can bound ECG signal distortion within 2% even under heavy WiFi interference. An analytical framework is devised to model the CCA behavior of WiFi interferers and the performance of WPANs under WiFi interference with or without WiCop protection. The analytical results are corroborated by experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6477043
Pages (from-to)1145-1158
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Algorithm/protocol design and analysis
  • Communication/Networking and Information Technology
  • Computer Systems Organization
  • Mobile communication systems
  • Mobile Computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'WiCop: Engineering WiFi temporal white-spaces for safe operations of wireless personal area networks in medical applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this