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Bluetooth, a wireless technology based on a frequency-hopping physical layer, enables portable devices to form short-range wireless ad hoc networks. Bluetooth hosts are not able to communicate unless they have previously discovered each other through synchronization of their timing and frequency-hopping patterns. Thus, even if all nodes are within proximity of each other, only those nodes which are synchronized with the transmitter can hear the transmission. To support any-to-any communication, nodes must be synchronized so that the pairs of nodes, which can communicate with each other, form a connected graph. Using Bluetooth as an example, we first provide deeper insights into the issue of link establishment in frequency-hopping wireless systems. We then introduce an asynchronous distributed protocol that begins with nodes having no knowledge of their surroundings and terminates with the formation of a connected network topology satisfying all constraints posed by Bluetooth. An attractive protocol feature is its ease in implementation using the communication primitives offered by the Bluetooth Specification.
Date of Publication: March 2005