Understanding Wireless Interference
Interference is an unavoidable reality and a bane of wireless communication systems. In most wireless environments, loss of performance is attributed to RF interference. Even though wireless is the dominant form of Internet access today, there is a lack of adequate tools to understand this interference phenomenon. Hence when a user complains --- "My Skype call from my personal laptop was interrupted multiple times" --- the administrator cannot answer why. What is worse is that many of these causes are not repeatable. So by the time the administrator arrives with sophisticated analyzers, the problem is long gone. In this talk, we will describe a comprehensive methodology and a toolkit that provides a real-time and efficient view of wireless interference as and when they occur. Using WiFi systems as examples, we describe our experience in building this toolkit, deploying them in various locations, and lessons learnt in understanding wireless interference.