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Multi-Channel Continuous Rendezvous in Cognitive Networks

Cledson Oliveira de Sousa Diego Passos

MidiaCom Labs, UFF MidiaCom Labs, UFF
Niterói, Brazil Niterói, Brazil

Ricardo Campanha Carrano Célio Albuquerque

MidiaCom Labs, UFF MidiaCom Labs, UFF
Niterói, Brazil Niterói, Brazil
ABSTRACT model used by government regulation agencies and the pollution of
The rapid growth of wireless networking technologies, the emer- the wavebands that do not require license for operation, the Indus-
gence of several new devices that offer or need Internet intercon- trial Scientific and Medical (ISMs) being the most patent example.
nection, and a pent-up demand for wide band access, especially At such frequency bands, forced by circumstances, a multiplicity
away from the big cities, are hampered by the problem of the fre- of devices are required to operate. Moreover, there are large por-
quency spectrum exhaustion for telecommunications services. A tions of the spectrum already granted remaining idle, such as in
more efficient use of the spectrum passes through solutions, such as sparsely-populated regions, or simply not operated due to market
the improvement and deployment of radios with cognitive ability. issues [16].
In this context, the problem of neighbor discovery extends not only Thanks to significant hardware and software advances in digital
for the initial blind rendezvous, but also for the maintenance of signal processing, there are promising computational solutions that
periodical encounters of neighbors after such initial encounter. At attempt to solve the spectrum scarcity issue. Among those, we can
this stage, it will be necessary for a node that has already found cite the Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) and the usage of radios
a peer to interrupt its data communication, so that nodes can be- with cognitive ability, ie., radios that able to dynamically find and
come aware of changes in their surroundings and the network can operate opportunistically at idle channels.
support the addition of new nodes. The contribution of this paper This efficiency improvement comes from the frequency reuse,
is the creation of asynchronous, distributed and robust schedules since Cognitive Radios (CR) are able to scan the spectrum, searching
to guarantee multiple continuous rendezvous and communication for those bands that, despite being licensed, remain idle. These are
opportunities between two or more cognitive radios using control what are commonly refereed to as white spaces or spectrum holes
channels, employing frequency hopping with new sequences and [1]. The reuse of such spaces depends on the presence or not of the
mappings based on combinatorial design theory. licensed Primary Users (PUs), that, due to the dynamics of wireless
environments, changes over time. These changes result in problems
KEYWORDS of temporal and spectral diversity. In others words, two unlicensed
secondary users (SUs) that want to communicate, must, without
Frequency reuse, cognitive radios, multi-channel rendezvous.
previous knowledge of spectral occupation or any central aid, scan a
ACM Reference format: subset of vacant frequencies and find one or more common channels
Cledson Oliveira de Sousa, Diego Passos, Ricardo Campanha Carrano, at a same instant, which constitutes a communication opportunity.
and Célio Albuquerque. 2017. Multi-Channel Continuous Rendezvous in
Such problem is commonly called blind rendezvous [20].
Cognitive Networks. In Proceedings of MSWiM ’17, Miami, FL, USA, Novem-
Cognitive Radios need to sense the spectrum and vacate the
ber 21–25, 2017, 8 pages. channel in case of PU detection to protect PUs from harmful in-
terference. To achieve this fundamental feature, CR users usually
share information with each other by using a common medium for
1 INTRODUCTION control message exchange. This common medium is known as a
Although we have observed a rapid spread of wireless communica- common control channel (CCC) [1].
tions, we have also witnessed the exhaustion of radio-frequency The single CCC approach, in which only one channel is used
spectrum caused, in part, by the lack of flexibility of the licensing to exchange control messages, is a simple way to guarantee the
control rendezvous and set up future data transmission. Figure 1
Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or
classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed
illustrates the operating scenario of a single dedicated CCC.
for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation The main disadvantage of the single CCC approach is its suscepti-
on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM bility to the dynamics of the wireless communication environment.
must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, or republish,
to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a The presence of the PU in the control channel can not only degrade
fee. Request permissions from the overall flow of the SUs’ communication, but if the transmission
MSWiM ’17, November 21–25, 2017, Miami, FL, USA period of the PU is long, it may even block access to the channel
© 2017 Association for Computing Machinery.
ACM ISBN 978-1-4503-5162-1/17/11. . . $15.00 for the SUs. Interference or jamming attacks can also disrupt the SUs’ communication and this behavior can hinder or block the
establishment of new rendezvous. A solution for this situation is the channels already chosen at the first rendezvous could be used
to provide communication in multiple control channels. However to set up a robust multi-channel schedule and accomplish these
despite facilitating the maintenance of network connectivity, in- functions through continuous rendezvous.
creasing the number of control channels can result in unacceptable In our scenario, two or more radios coexist and share the same
levels of control overhead. licensed band. The licensed spectrum is divided in a set G of or-
In this work we consider the problem of multi-channel ren- thogonal channels, with N of those being control channels, while
dezvous by assuming each CR follows a cyclic frequency hop se- one is chosen as a dedicated data channel.
quence, called a schedule, in which it alternates between the data Our schedule will traverse the channels of set G, in fixed size
channel and each of the control channels. Such a schedule must be time slots. All radios operate under the same schedule S, which
constructed in a way that guarantees that any two nodes will have is a sequence of v slots, of which k are control slots. Notice that,
some overlapping time in each control channel in every cycle. although all nodes operate under the same schedule, due the lack
of synchronism, at a given moment of time, the nodes may be in
different slots and therefore, in different channels. Thus, two nodes
operating under the same schedule will likely not rendezvous at
all control slots of a cycle. We define the number of control slots in
which two nodes rendezvous in each cycle λ.
Given two radios R 1 and R 2 equipped with a single half-duplex
radio interface, and programmed with the same schedule S, we
would like to guarantee multi-channel rendezvous in each cycle.
In Figure 2, we present a fragment of a schedule starting at slot
11. These radios rendezvous at two different control slots in each
cycle. All control slot in a schedule S belong to a specific control
set Ki and should be allocated to the respective control channel,
Figure 1: This example shows a single CCC as a dedicated CC0 or CC1 by predefined control sets K 0 and K 1 to guarantee the
control channel visited by secondary users during control rendezvous.
slots. CHAN 1 is occupied by the PU, CHAN 2 and CHAN 3
are dedicated to communication between SUs. The SUs hop
from the CCC to one of those channels during data slots.

Synchronism between nodes would make the overlap of fre-

quency hop sequences trivial, but, typically, cognitive devices are
embedded with inexpensive and inaccurate clocks, which makes
synchronization in cognitive networks a difficult and costly task
[13]. Thereby, we opt to employ an asynchronous approach.
In summary, blind rendezvous is a well studied problem, as seen
in [10, 12, 18], but the continuous multi-channel rendezvous is Figure 2: Two radios R 1 and R 2 operating under a same sched-
scarcely visited in literature. For example, it is mentioned in [3] and ule with 59 slots and 29 control slots (Grey). In this example,
only recently addressed in [6]. In this context, the contribution of there are rendezvous in Cc0 at slot 17, and in Cc1 at slot 20.
this paper is the proposal of heuristics that can operate on known There is an offset θ = 1 between the two nodes. The white
schedules for the control channel scenario, and output more robust slots represent the data slots.
multi-channel schedules for continuous time rendezvous with low
control overhead.
This text is organized as follows. In Section 2, we describe the 3 DEFINITIONS, TERMINOLOGY AND
scenario considered in this paper in more detail. Next, in Section 3, METRICS
we introduce theoretical concepts and definitions. Related work is Typically, in sequence-based CCC approaches, nodes divide time
presented in Section 4. Later, in Section 5, we discuss the concept of into cycles, consisting of a sequence of fixed-size control and data
Block Designs, the mathematical basis of our proposed schedules slots, dictated by a schedule, which defines a frequency hopping
for continuous rendezvous. The next section details our proposal, sequence [15]. In order to be used in asynchronous CCC, such
followed by a section presenting an evaluation. Finally, in Section schedule should guarantee that any two nodes will rendezvous in
8, we present our conclusions and ideas for future work. both dimensions, time and frequency, irrespective of their radios’
time offset. In this section, we will present some definitions, ter-
2 THE SCENARIO minology and metrics related to these schedules, namely: control
After the first rendezvous, cognitive radios operating as secondary overhead, upper bound rendezvous, Expected Time To Rendezvous
users must return periodically to the control channel for collabo- (ETTR), Maximum Time To Rendezvous (MTTR) and Rotation Clo-
rating, admitting new nodes, exchanging information regarding sure Property (RCP).
the PU activity, and contacting known nodes for establishing new In all definitions and figures, we assume that the slots of the
control or data channels in case a PU becomes present. A subset of radios are border-aligned, ie., starting and ending together, which
in fact, would require synchronization. However, as demonstrated Thus, RCP is guaranteed. However, the proposals in [3], [5] and [17],
theoretically in [14], with simulations in [3], and experimentally are able to guarantee rendezvous for only one channel, not being
in [4], if a schedule satisfies a property called Rotation Closure applicable for multi-channel rendezvous. Further, such approaches
Property, the alignment between slots is not a requirement for present high control overhead when compared to Block Designs of
the rendezvous to occur. Also note that two cognitive nodes pro- the same length [4].
grammed to operate under the same schedule, due to asynchrony, In SeqR [9], the authors create channel hop sequences by first
might actually operate under rotations of the same schedule. Such selecting a random permutation P of N channels, and repeating it
rotations are dictated by their internal clock offsets. Schedule rota- P(N + 1) times in the sequence, interspersed by each element of P.
tion is a key factor to understand the RCP, and only by satisfying For example, for N = 3, and choosing {1, 2, 3} as a permutation of
RCP, a schedule can deterministically guarantee the rendezvous. the channels, we obtain the sequence {1, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 3, 1, 2, 3}.
See an RCP definition bellow. While this mechanism guarantees rendezvous, it does not guarantee
rendezvous in all available channels, which reduces its robustness
Definition 1. Rotation Closure Property — A schedule S presents
against interference and channel occupancy. It is important to no-
the Rotation Closure Property, if, and only if, the intersection between
tice that SeqR is concerned with the blind rendezvous problem,
itself and any of its rotations has at least one common control slot.
instead of the continuous rendezvous considered in this paper. No-
In this paper, we are interested in N multi-channel rendezvous, tice that the channel hopping sequences created by SeqR do not
which means that a schedule S can also be understood as a set of v include the data channel. Indeed, SeqR assumes that the rendezvous
slots and a collection of disjoint sub control sets K = {Ki , K j , ..., K N }. is only a concern at an initial setup stage of the network. After that,
Thereby, if each sub control set of K satisfies RCP individually, the nodes are assumed to remain fixed at the data channel. As an illus-
schedule satisfies RCP for all N control channels. It is important to tration, Figure 3 shows an example of a SeqR schedule, highlighting
draw attention to the fact that a design is defined as a set together the rendezvous in channel 2, but failing to provide rendezvous on
with a family of subsets whose members are chosen to satisfy some channels 1 and 3 in a same cycle.
set of properties [8], and can have several different schedules, with
disjoint control sets or not. We are interested in the disjoint case
In the example shown in Figure 2, radio R 1 operates under a
schedule S with two distinct sub control sets K 0 = {..., 16, 17, 22, ...}
mapped to control channel CC0 and K 1 = {..., 12, 15, 19, 20, ...}
mapped to control channel CC1 . R 2 operates under the same sched-
Figure 3: Example of two nodes A and B operating under a
ule S, but rotated by one slot, ie., θ = 1. Note that K 0 ∩ K 1 = ∅.
schedule created with SeqR with offset θ = 2, showing the
Thereby, we want to construct a collection K = {K 0 , K 1 , ..., K N }
case with 2 rendezvous on channel 2.
∀Ki , K j , Ki ∩ K j = ∅, and all sub control sets of K satisfy RCP
individually. DRDS in [12] and CRSEQ [18] are also rendezvous mechanisms
From these definitions, we determine metrics to measure sched- that achieve multi-channel rendezvous. They present bounded time
ule efficiency. The control overhead is defined as the fraction of to rendezvous, but are not interested in continuous rendezvous as
time that each node spends on control channels. The Time To Ren- our scenario defined in Section 2.
dezvous (TTR) for a given pair of nodes is simply the number of The authors in [6] address the problem of continuous multi-
slots elapsed until rendezvous, which is a function of both the used channel rendezvous and propose a channel-hopping schedule called
schedule and the offset between the internal clocks of the nodes. Shift-based Channel Hopping for Continuous Rendezvous (SCHCR),
Since two nodes may present arbitrary clock offsets, more useful which is based in SeqR, without distinguishing control and data
metrics would be to consider the average and worst cases. Thus, we channels: ie., they assume any channel can be used to send both
define the ETTR to be the average TTR, considering all possible data and control information. So far, all the mechanisms mentioned
time offsets. Similarly, MTTR is the worst-case TTR for all possible in this section deal with several ways of creating hop sequences
time offsets. to achieve rendezvous in bounded time. Some are quorum-based,
others use permutation and others use combinatorial designs, as in
4 RELATED WORK [12], but none uses specifically Balanced Incomplete Block Designs
Rendezvous approaches can be classified in two main branches, (BIBD) [21]. In [2], we find for the first time the application of BIBD
aided and unaided, and the latter can be divided in synchronous or for the construction of a rendezvous mechanism in CRANs. The
asynchronous, and with or without control channels. This section authors’ proposal concerns data and control transmission, but it
seeks to situate and compare our proposal and scenario using this does not use CCC concept, treating all channels as possible opportu-
general classification already established in literature, as in [15] nities for both, data and control transmissions. It can be noticed that
and [20]. none of those solutions can be readily employed for the continuous
Some rendezvous proposals make use of Quorum Systems (QS) to rendezvous scenario presented in Section 2.
create control channel-based schedules and to promote rendezvous
in Cognitive Radio Networks (CRN). A Quorum is a set system 5 BLOCK DESIGNS
where the intersection of any two sets is never null. The rotations Combinatorial design theory deals with the existence, construction
of a schedule based on Quorum Systems are sets of the Quorum. and properties of systems of finite sets, whose arrangements satisfy
general concepts of balance and/or symmetry [8]. The application since their blocks specify two kinds of slots (eg., control and data).
of such mathematical framework in our work hinges on the ability In order to adapt block designs to our specific scenario, we propose
to partition the time into a set of slots divided in two subsets, control heuristics that can start with a block design and output an efficient
and data slots, such that, two non-synchronized radios operating multi-channel schedule.
under a frequency hopping sequence, defined by these designs, are
guaranteed to have overlapping times at the control slots (ie., they 6 OUR PROPOSAL
are guaranteed to rendezvous). This paper proposes a set of heuristics that can take one or more
existing designs and generate new designs suitable for providing
multi-channel continuous rendezvous. By systematically employing
those heuristics, we obtain three new kinds of designs, called C-
designs, M-designs and H-designs. The first design arises from
the application of what we refer to as Reverse Engineering (RE),
while the second exploits the concept of Constructive Sum (CS),
our extension of the constructive sum theorem in [11], and the
third combines the first two. We also create the concept of mapping
functions M, which designate which channels will be allocated to
the control slots.
Figure 4: Example of Block Design with a periodic cycle of On a scenario where we want to promote multi-channel ren-
7 slots, where there are 3 control slots and 4 slots used for dezvous, we can allocate the channels to control slots in many
data transmission. This specific design guarantees one ren- possible ways, but in the absence of analytic means to prove that
dezvous per cycle. a given a tuple (Design, M, S) provides rendezvous at all channels
within every cycle, for all offsets, we would have to explore all
We now, briefly introduce the formal definition of a BIBD or possible mapping functions. However, in order to reduce the scope
simply Block Designs, adapted for our context, composed of slots of discovering successful M functions, since the number of possible
and cycles.
schedules grows exponentially with cycle length (N k ), we divided
Definition 2. Block Designs — Let v, k, λ ∈ Z+ | v > k ≥ 2. our mapping functions into two groups:
A Block Design BD − {v, k, λ} is a pair (Y , A) which satisfies the (1) regular, mapping function that groups 2 < д < k/2 con-
following properties [11]: secutive control slots at a same frequency. Notice that there
(1) Y is a set of slots of cardinality v that forms a cycle, are schedules where k is not multiple of the group size. In
(2) A is a collection of two subsets of Y , called blocks, these cases the remaining slots are allocated on the last
(3) one block contains k control slots , while the other contains channel; and
v − k data slots, (2) irregular, all other combinations that group д control slots
(4) any pair of different blocks must contain λ rendezvous. using different frequencies.
So, the relationship between Y , a schedule S and a BD − {v, k, λ},
can be exemplified in the following particular case, which is illus-
trated in Figure 4. Henceforth, for brevity, we will express the BDs
just as {v, k, λ}.
• Example: given Y = {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}, there is a BD {7, 3, 1},
which has a particular schedule S = [7, {0, 1, 3}], whose
cycle has a total of 7 slots in which 3 control slots are
allocated at positions {0, 1, 3} in the same single frequency, Figure 5: Schedule S A with a regular mapping function that
and data slots are allocated at positions {2, 4, 5, 6}. For any allocates each three consecutive control slots, to the same
schedule rotation S®θ of S, there is exactly one overlap per control channel, alternating between three control channels
cycle as depicted in Figure 4, for θ = 1. for each group. The mapping used on schedule S B , on the
Note that there are many other possible designs. Some more other hand, is irregular.
elaborate with λ = 3, 4 and 17 are shown in Table 1.
As an example of those two distinct mappings, Figure 5 illustrates
Table 1: Some known more elaborated designs.
two schedules S A and S B , originated from the same BD with λ = 9,
operating respectively, in a regular mapping function that allocates
BDs Schedules
the same channel Cci for each three consecutive control slots, and
{15, 7, 3} S = [15, {0, 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10}]
an irregular mapping that does not obey a regular allocation. Notice
{19, 9, 4} S = [19, {1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 16, 17}]
{4369, 273, 17} S = [4369, {1, 2, 46, 55, 112, 123, ..., 4344, 4356, 4362}] that the number of possible irregular mappings grows exponentially
with the number of control slots k. For this reason, in this paper
Although we use BIBDs as the basis for this work, notice that we will focus on regular mappings, although we intend to pursue a
they are not trivially applicable to the multi-channel schedules deeper investigation on irregular mappings in the future.
Once defined the use of regular mappings to allocate control A result of the use of regular mappings to Block Designs is
slots, the next step is the discovery of a suitable tuple (BD, M, S), the emergence of some schedules with redundant control slots.
that: If we observe the intersection of such a schedule with rotations
(a) ensures rendezvous on all channels within every cycle of itself, we often notice the occurrence of multiple rendezvous
regardless the offset in bounded time, opportunities per channel and per cycle, while a single opportunity
(b) is efficient in terms of as overhead, ETTR and MTTR. suffices. The opposite also happens: some mappings do not achieve
rendezvous in all channels in all offsets. So, we create heuristics
To verify the feasibility of our designs and schedules, we have to overcome these obstacles, that combine two or more designs,
implemented a simulator that generates and tests schedules and increase or reduce the number of control slots, in a such a manner
rotations. For each design, the simulator computes the parameters that we obtain more efficient designs in terms of rendezvous and
presented in Table 2. It also implements our heuristics for construct- control overhead.
ing new designs, and checks the existence of disjoint control sets.
Those functionalities, that will be explained in more details in the
next sections, are illustrated in Algorithms 1 and 2. Both algorithms
use the text_RCP function, which is responsible for testing the RCP 6.2 Constructive Sum
property for each offset and reporting the results. Based on the concept of disjoint control sets (difference families)
Table 2: Simulator input parameters and output metrics. [19] and on the theorem of constructive sum [11], we extend this
theorem for our purposes, proposing a deterministic heuristic we
call Constructive Sum (CS).
Parameter Description
If we obtain two designs with the same length v and with two
Design type BD CD, MD and HD
v Cycle length. disjoint control sets K 1 and K 2 , we can create a new design {v, k 1 +
k # control slots. k 2 , (λ 1 , λ 2 )} ∴ |K 1 | = k 1 , |K 2 | = k 2 , which will allow us to ensure
λ # rendezvous per cycle. multiple channel rendezvous. Here (λ 1 , λ 2 ) indicates the number
overhead % of slots used to control (k/v). of rendezvous in each of the two different control channels. We
Functions Mk,N ,д used M functions and parameters k, N , д. can then apply a new constructive mapping function Mc , that
RCcn Rendezvous per channel. associates uniquely each slot si ∈ K 1 to CC1 and each slot s j ∈ K 2
ETT R Ccn ETTR per control channel. to CC2 . Constructive sum is simply a merge of two disjoint control
MTT R Ccn MTTR per control channel. sets. This property is also valid for n designs.
Flawed offsets per Ccn Total of failed offset per control channel

6.1 Traditional Block Designs with λ > 1 and 6.3 Reverse Engineering
Regular Mappings Reverse Engineering is a technique that can fix both the cases,
BD-based schedules, as in [4] and [7], fit well for neighbor discovery where we have more control slots than required for multi-channel
techniques which employ nodes operating at a single frequency rendezvous and where we have less control slots than needed. We
and require rendezvous only in time dimension. Regular mapping present this technique in the form of two distinct heuristics: Subtrac-
introduces the idea of grouping a number of consecutive slots allo- tive Reverse Engineering (RE(−) ) and Additive Reverse Engineering
cating them to a same frequency, creating schedules that provides (RE(+) ).
multi-channel rendezvous. Subtractive RE – The goal is to reduce the overhead. Choose
The first and most didactic example of the application of a regu- BD pairs with low overhead e.g. 20% of control overhead. If they
lar mapping function over a Block Design is the schedule obtained have different cycle lengths, reduce the longest design keeping
from the BD {59, 29, 14}. A fragment of this schedule is illustrated the RCP satisfied, so that they match in size. Then we carefully
in Figure 2. Using a regular mapping function that allocates two remove redundant control slots, obtaining, at the end, two disjoint
different channels, alternating each two consecutive control slots control sets, without loosing RCP property. Before the first step,
to the same frequency, there are rendezvous on both control chan- we choose among all rotations of both BDs, that pair which offers
nels CC0 and CC1 for all possible offsets. Therefore, this BD-based less coincident slots. At the end of these steps, we obtain two more
schedule obeys the RCP, using this regular mapping M and two efficient designs in terms of control overhead with two mutually
control channels. Nevertheless, this design is not efficient, resulting exclusive schedules. Algorithm 1 shows the steps for RE(−) .
in almost 50% of control overhead. In Section 7, we present results Additive RE – First, select a BD with low overhead and few
for more efficient designs. flawed offsets (say k/10) for a N -channel rendezvous through regu-
In order to use a more specific and compact notation, from this lar mapping, and then replace data slots with new control slots to
point on, we will refer to a regular mapping function that maps k these BD, on failed positions. Run mapping function until there are
control slots to N control channels, grouped in д consecutive slots no more flawed offsets, so that we have, at the end, a new design,
as Mk, N ,д . Thus, the function employed in the example of Figure incurring in only a small increase in the control overhead, but now
2, can be represented by M29,2,2 . Notice that the regular mapping satisfying RCP for N -channel rendezvous. Algorithm 2 shows the
function M does not influence the control overhead, since it does steps for RE(+) . We call these evolutions of BDs, C-Designs (CD).
not change the number of control slots.
Algorithm 1 : Subtractive Reverse Engineering proceed by reducing the length of S B to match the length of S A
Input: (by eliminating dashed slots), applying the RE(−) heuristic on both
length of BD 1 and BD 2 ◃ used designs schedules, and alternately removing the coincident and redundant
S1, S2 ◃ schedules slots (slots marked with X), until there are no more intersections
K1 , K2 ◃ control sets (which means disjoint control sets), and simultaneously checking,
Output: at each iteration, if there are still rendezvous for all offsets in each
C-Design ◃ new {v, k ′, λ }. schedule. At the end of these steps, we have a C-Design with two dif-
1: adjust BD 1 and BD 2 cycle lengths, testing RCP ferent control sets. Notice that the resulting control sets after RE(−)
2: counter ← 0 are disjoint, and this feature will allow us to use them with another
3: while K 1 ∩ K 2 , ∅ do heuristic: Constructive Sum. The simplest RE case is illustrated as
4: s ← lowest slot in K 1 ∩ K 2 a diagram in Figure 7(a).
5: if counter is even then
6: s ∈ K 1 becomes data slot CD CD
7: counter++ BD RE+
8: else RE+
− RE+

9: s ∈ K 2 becomes data slot
10: counter++ CD
11: if test_RCP(S 1 , S 2 ) is False then
12: return fail (a) A CD may be obtained from (b) A CD can be obtained from
13: return (C-design) a BD through additive and the constructive sum of two
subtractive Reverse Egineering CDs.
Algorithm 2 : Additive Reverse Engineering
Input: Figure 7: Figures (a) and (b) show how C-designs, that allow
offsets ◃ check and store failed offsets and slot position. multi-channel rendezvous, may be constructed.
ϕ ◃ threshold of flawed offsets.
Mk, N ,д (A) ◃ apply Mapping function to a schedule A. The idea behind case RE(+) is the opposite of RE(−) . In the first
Output: phase, we search for any failed BD for N -channel rendezvous in
C-Design ◃ new {v, k ′, λ }. few offsets (threshold ϕ), checking failed slots for each offset. Then,
1: while test_RCP(S 1 ) is False AND offsets < ϕ do instead of removing a control slot, we replace some data slot by
2: add control slot in S 1 failed position control slots in the largest gap between two control slots until
3: Mk, N ,д (S 1 ) achieving a successful new Design for N-channel rendezvous. Take,
4: return (C-design) for example, BD {1562, 312, 62}. This specific BD does not have any
regular mapped schedule that reaches 3-channel rendezvous. The
best case achieved through regular mapping is a schedule with 2
flawed offsets (offsets where there are no rendezvous for one or
more control slots ) for CC2 and CC1 . However, replacing 9 data
slots by new control slots, we achieve a CD {1562, 321, 62} that
is successful for 3-channel rendezvous for all offsets. Notice that
we can also combine case RE(−) and RE(+) to form new designs, as
exemplified in the diagram in Figure7(b).

6.4 Heuristics Summary

For a matter of nomenclature and better understanding we summa-
rize here the resultant designs of our heuristics:
Merged Designs are obtained by applying Constructive Sum
Figure 6: The process of creating C-Designs, through the ap- to two or more Block Designs that present two or more disjoint
plication of RE(−) in two BDs, showing the removal of sur- control sets. That is the case of BDs {553, 24, 1} and {871, 30, 1},
plus slots, eliminating intersection of control slots (marked since both BDs, individually, present two schedules with no control
with an X), for subsequent use of Constructive Sum, creat- set intersection. So, we can apply Mc to such schedules forming,
ing a new C-Design with two meetings each cycle. Note that respectively MD {553, 48, (1, 1)} and {871, 60, (1, 1)}.
a single design like CD {19, 7, ∃1} can have more than one Hybrid Designs are also formed through Constructive Sum,
control set, represented here by K 1 and K 2 . but combining two different designs, which is the case of HD
{871, 147, (1, 1, ∃1)}, that is formed by MD {871, 60, (1, 1)}, and a
The example in Figure 6 1 explains RE(−) and CS. Take sched- CD {871, 87, ∃1}.
ules S A and S B . As, for example BDs {19, 9, 4} and {23, 11, 5}. We C-Designs can also be obtained by CS. Schedules formed with
1 We introduce here a new notation (∃1) to the parameter equivalent to λ for BDs. same dimensions, CD {19, 7, ∃1}, but with distinct control sets.
This means that, after merging, at least one rendezvous per channel per cycle will be 6
guaranteed, instead of exactly one, as with BDs.
Applying the Constructive Sum, and Mc map function forms the will present our results arranging them by design, starting with
schedule S from CD {19, 14, (∃1, ∃1)} with 2-channel rendezvous, the direct application of regular mappings to high λ Block Designs,
ie., at least one slot rendezvous in each channel, for every cycle, dividing in two groups, first, results for 2-channel rendezvous and
regardless of the offset between nodes. Such schedules that present control overhead ≤ 25%, then all results for 3-channel rendezvous.
different number of rendezvous per cycle are known as unbalanced. Later in this section we show the results of our new heuristics.
To enlighten the reader about the number of possibilities and
combinations explored in this paper, we summarize our contribu- Table 4: Table with BD-based schedules that effectively guar-
tions regarding the new designs and their constructions through antee the rendezvous of two radios in two different channels
forming diagrams: Figures 7(a), 7(b), 8(a) and 8(b) show through (overhead ≤ 25%).
those diagrams, the construction of mentioned designs. The label
of the oriented edges indicates the acronym of heuristic employed, v k λ overhead
the forms linked to non-oriented edges indicate the forming de- function C0 C0 C1 C1
341 85 21 0.25 M85,2,2 5.17 41.35 330 5.42 31.41 335
signs. Figures of different blocks linked to oriented end of the edge 677 169 42 0.25 M169,2,2 10.42 60.07 668 10.67 55.73 673
represent the resultant designs. 781 156 31 0.20 M156,2,2 7.79 61.32 765 7.79 53.00 633
1562 312 62 0.20 M312,2,2 15.58 61.32 1556 15.58 53.00 1536

7.1 Results for Block Designs

Table 4 shows four different BDs that are able to guarantee ren-
dezvous in two control channels, while incurring in ≤ 25% overhead.
MD HD The table shows the values for v, k, λ, control overhead and the
mapping function M. RCc i indicates the average number of ren-
(a) An MD may be obtained (b) A HD can be obtained from dezvous in a given channel and the ETTR and MTTR in both control
from the constructive sum be- the constructive sum of a BD channels 0 and 1.
tween two BDs. with a CD. Table 5 lists all BD-based schedules that support 3-channel ren-
dezvous (at least 1 each channel per offset). We wish to pursue the
Figure 8: Figures (a) and (b) show respectively how are ob- reduction of the control overhead for multi-channel rendezvous in
tained MD and HD designs, that allow multiple rendezvous. the following sections.
To complete the understanding of the differences between new Table 5: BD-based schedules that guarantee multi-channel
heuristics, designs and their relation to the mapping functions, we (3) rendezvous, with their respective overhead and M func-
present Table 3, showing which mapping functions are used to tions.
generate other designs. The restriction of combinations of these
elements occurs due to the nature of the designs. For example, M M
once a design has been created by constructively summing two v k λ overhead v k λ overhead
functions functions
original designs with preassigned channels, there is no sense in 199 99 49 0.5 M99,3,4 419 209 104 0.5 M209,3,11
using regular mappings. To define in one statement, the regular 251 125 62 0.5 M125,3,4 431 215 107 0.5 M215,3,5
mapping functions are designed to allow multiple rendezvous in 255 127 63 0.5 M127,3,3 439 219 109 0.5 M219,3,10
263 131 65 0.5 M131,3,6 443 221 110 0.5 M219,3,17
designs not built for this purpose, while constructive mappings have
271 135 67 0.5 M135,3,3 463 231 115 0.5 M231,3,12
been created already with the purpose of multi-channel rendezvous 283 141 70 0.5 M141,3,3 467 233 116 0.5 M233,3,12
in mind. 307 153 76 0.5 M153,3,3 479 239 119 0.5 M239,3,3
Table 3: Forming designs, applicable mapping functions and 331 165 82 0.5 M165,3,3 487 243 121 0.5 M243,3,13
347 173 86 0.5 M173,3,3 491 245 122 0.5 M245,3,11
their creating heuristics. 359 179 89 0.5 M179,3,3 511 255 127 0.5 M255,3,10
367 183 91 0.5 M183,3,3 523 261 130 0.5 M261,3,3
Mapping Functions Heuristics 379 189 94 0.5 M189,3,4 587 293 146 0.5 M293,3,13
Regulars Constructive Rev. Engineering Constructive Sum 383 191 95 0.5 M191,3,10 1023 511 255 0.5 M511,3,11
HD X X 7.2 Results for Reverse Engineering Heuristic
As already mentioned, Block Designs do not fit well for multi-
channel rendezvous, but we can overcome this difficulty using
7 RESULTS new heuristics to add some particularly positioned control slots
Our numerical analysis tests RCP for all possible schedule offsets with a small increase in control overhead. An example of this new
using any M function, grouping channels from 2 up to ⌊k/2⌋, start- heuristic is the reuse of BD {1562, 312, 62}. This specific BD reaches
ing at the smallest BD {19, 9, 4} up to the longest {4369, 273, 17}. 2-channel rendezvous as seen in the first row of Table 6, which
We have tested possible schedules and their rotations, using these shows, among others parameters, some flawed per offset (2) when
four types of designs: BD, CD, MD and HD. In this process we have applying the M312,3,3 mapping. In this particular case adding 9
found almost 150 schedules to compare and use. To be didactic, we more control slots modifies the original BD. Using this new control
Table 6: Table showing result of employing the Reverse Engineering heuristic on Block Designs.

Flawed Flawed Flawed

Type v k λ overhead RC c 0 offsets RC c 1 offsets RC c 2 offsets
function Cc0 Cc0 Cc1 Cc1 Cc2 Cc2
Cc0 Cc1 Cc2
BD 1562 312 62 0.20 M312,3,3 7.05 188.97 1431 0 6.66 190.42 1363 2 7.05 167.93 1482 2
CD 1562 321 (∃1, ∃1, ∃1) 0.21 M321,3,3 7.05 175.01 1412 0 7.46 167.20 1360 0 7.46 156.81 1211 0

Table 7: Table showing results of new designs created by the Constructive Sum heuristic.

Flawed Flawed Flawed

Type v k λ overhead RC c 0 offsets RC c 1 offsets RC c 2 offsets
function Cc0 Cc0 Cc1 Cc1 Cc2 Cc2
Cc0 Cc2 Cc2
HD 871 147 (1, 1, ∃1) 0.16 MC 1 434.53 870 0 1 434.53 870 0 8.68 46.11 805 0
MD 553 48 (1, 1) 0.08 MC 1 275.54 552 0 1 275.54 552 0 – – – –
MD 871 60 (1, 1) 0.06 MC 1 434.53 870 0 1 434.53 870 0 – – – –

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