12:45 PM, Thursday, January 13, 2000
Room 104, Gates Computer Science Building

Networking non-PC devices using BlueSky and Bluetooth

Pravin Bhagwat
Mobile Networking Group

IBM, Thomas J. Watson Research Center

About the talk:

The BlueSky project aims at providing a low-cost, low-power, indoor wireless networking solution for non-PC devices such as palmtop computers, cell phones, digital cameras, and computer peripherals. In this talk, I will describe our design rationale and implementation experience of building two variants of the BlueSky system. The first BlueSky prototype was built using a radio module from a cordless phone. Users can plug-in the BlueSky adapter into the serial port of their palmtop devices and access networking services over the cordless link. An attractive feature of the system is that it enables MobileIP style seamless roaming without requiring any changes to the networking stack of palmtop devices. The next version of the BlueSky system is being built on top of Bluetooth. Bluetooth is an emerging, low-power, short range RF wireless technology which is aimed at eliminating cables between devices. In principle, using Bluetooth radio modules it should be possible to form an ad hoc network of devices, but the techniques for forming such networks have not been fully explored yet. I will present our initial results which include a technique for characterizing Bluetooth network topologies, algorithms for self-organization, and a method for routing packets over Bluetooth ad hoc networks. I will conclude the talk with a discussion of open problems in this area.

About the speaker:

Pravin Bhagwat is a member of research staff at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, New York. Since joining IBM in 1995, he has worked on a number of topics including mobile computing, networking protocols, proxies, and firewalls. He is the designer of BlueSky, an indoor wireless networking system for palmtop computers, and the co-inventor of TCP splicing, a technique for building fast application layer proxies. He actively serves on program committees of mobile computing and networking conferences and and has published several technical papers in the area of mobile computing and networking. He has a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Maryland, College Park. He also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the electrical engineering department at Polytechnic University, Westchester Campus, NY.