IRONWAN: Increasing Reliability of Overlapping Networks in LoRaWAN

by   Laksh Bhatia, et al.

LoRaWAN deployments follow an ad-hoc deployment model that has organically led to overlapping communication networks, sharing the wireless spectrum, and completely unaware of each other. LoRaWAN uses ALOHA-style communication where it is almost impossible to schedule transmission between networks belonging to different owners properly. The inability to schedule overlapping networks will cause inter-network interference, which will increase node-to-gateway message losses and gateway-to-node acknowledgement failures. This problem is likely to get worse as the number of LoRaWAN networks increase. In response to this problem, we propose IRONWAN, a wireless overlay network that shares communication resources without modifications to underlying protocols. It utilises the broadcast nature of radio communication and enables gateway-to-gateway communication to facilitate the search for failed messages and transmit failed acknowledgements already received and cached in overlapping network's gateways. IRONWAN uses two novel algorithms, a Real-time Message Inter-arrival Predictor, to highlight when a server has not received an expected uplink message. The Interference Predictor ensures that extra gateway-to-gateway communication does not negatively impact communication bandwidth. We evaluate IRONWAN on a 1000-node simulator with up to ten gateways and a 10-node testbed with 2-gateways. Results show that IRONWAN can achieve up to 12% higher packet delivery ratio (PDR) and total messages received per node while increasing the minimum PDR by up to 28%. These improvements save up to 50% node's energy. Finally, we demonstrate that IRONWAN has comparable performance to an optimal solution (wired, centralised) but with 2-32 times lower communication costs. IRONWAN also has up to 14% better PDR when compared to FLIP, a wired-distributed gateway-to-gateway protocol in certain scenarios.


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