Application-Oriented Traffic Modeling of WiFi-Based Internet of Things Gateways

Atef Abdrabou, Maitha Saif Al Darei, Monika Prakash, Weihua Zhuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Many Internet of Things (IoT) devices generate relatively small-sized data and have limited energy supply. These two factors limit their ability to connect directly to cloud servers through a wireless backbone network without imposing a burden on this network in providing efficient data transfer. In this article, we consider an IoT network architecture where a number of different IoT devices send their data wirelessly to an IoT gateway (or a fog node) via a WiFi network. We focus on characterizing incoming traffic patterns to the gateway for three typical IoT applications with real-time and nonreal-time data transfer requirements, such as video surveillance, smart city, and e-healthcare. Our study is based on generating real IoT traffic traces in a lab environment from various sensors and devices for the aforementioned applications and employing these traces to emulate a network of IoT nodes connected to a gateway via WiFi. In the conducted experiments, different homogenous and nonhomogeneous traffic patterns of the selected applications are examined for synchronized and unsynchronized data sources. Based on our empirical data, the experimental results reveal that the packet interarrival time distribution at the gateway is close to generalized Pareto distribution for homogeneous eHealth and smart city traffic, whereas the Weibull distribution is the nearest to model the empirical packet interarrival time for the rest of the examined traffic patterns. Moreover, we show that employing the experimental findings to analyze the delay performance of connecting the gateway to the cloud, given certain backbone network resources, leads to accurate results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1170
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2022


  • Characterization
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • WiFi
  • fog
  • gateway
  • interarrival time distribution
  • traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications


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