Journal article

Understanding the Performance of Bluetooth Mesh : Reliability, Delay and Scalability Analysis


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Publication Details


Publication year: 2020

Start page: 2089

End page: 2101

Number of pages: 13

ISSN: 2327-4662


View additional information: View in Web of Science


This article evaluates the quality-of-service performance and scalability of the recently released Bluetooth Mesh protocol and provides general guidelines on its use and configuration. Through extensive simulations, we analyzed the impact of the configuration of all the different protocols parameters on the end-to-end reliability, delay, and scalability. In particular, we focused on the structure of the packet broadcast process, which takes place in time intervals known as \textit{Advertising Events} and \textit{Scanning Events}. Results indicate a high degree of interdependence among all the different timing parameters involved in both the scanning and the advertising processes and show that the correct operation of the protocol greatly depends on the compatibility between their configurations. We also demonstrated that introducing randomization in these timing parameters, as well as varying the duration of the \textit{Advertising Events}, reduces the drawbacks of the flooding propagation mechanism implemented by the protocol. Using data collected from a real office environment, we also studied the behavior of the protocol in the presence of WLAN interference. It was shown that Bluetooth Mesh is vulnerable to external interference, even when implementing the standardized limitation of using only 3 out of the 40 Bluetooth Low Energy frequency channels. We observed that the achievable average delay is relatively low, of around 250~ms for over 10 hops under the worst simulated network conditions. However, results proved that scalability is especially challenging for Bluetooth Mesh since it is prone to broadcast storm, hindering the communication reliability for denser deployments.


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