Using Software-Defined Networking for Data Traffic Control in Smart Cities with WiFi Coverage †

Basima Kurungadan, Atef Abdrabou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The growth of smart cities is fueled by the vast rise in wireless smart gadgets and uninterrupted connectivity. WiFi is the dominant wireless technology, enabling Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity in smart cities due to its ubiquitous access points and low deployment cost. However, smart city applications offer a wide range of services with different quality-of-service (QoS) demands. This paper addresses packet delivery latency as one of the QoS metrics affecting many time-sensitive smart city services. Thus, the paper proposes employing software-defined networking (SDN) to control the traffic load of WiFi access points (APs), preserving its symmetry in a city-wide coverage of WiFi-connected IoT gateways or fog nodes. These gateways receive data packets from smart city/IoT devices via wireless links and forward them over a city-deployed WiFi network to their management entities or servers. Three SDN-based algorithms are devised to reduce the gateways’ packet-forwarding delay and keep a symmetric traffic load at the WiFi network APs. The algorithms are developed and tested using a real hardware setup constituting WiFi devices without additional requirements on the IoT gateways (WiFi clients) or the APs, such as support for a specific roaming protocol or bandwidth-consuming signaling such as sending probe packets. Extensive hardware experimentation shows that the SDN controller, via the proposed algorithms, can effectively reduce the packet forwarding latency of IoT gateways by carefully selecting the IoT gateway with the highest packet latency and seamlessly handing it over to the least-loaded covering AP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2053
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • IoT
  • WiFi
  • control
  • delay
  • e-Health
  • fog
  • load
  • smart city
  • software-defined networking
  • traffic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • General Mathematics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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