Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Brian T. Davis


Bluetooth wireless technology is a robust short-range communications system designed for low power (10 meter range) and low cost. It operates in the 2.4 GHz Industrial Scientific Medical (ISM) band and it employs two techniques for minimizing interference: a frequency hopping scheme which nominally splits the 2.400 - 2.485 GHz band in 79 frequency channels and a time division duplex (TDD) scheme which is used to switch to a new frequency channel on 625 μs boundaries. During normal operation a Bluetooth device will be active on a different frequency channel every 625 μs, thus minimizing the chances of continuous interference impacting the performance of the system.

The smallest unit of a Bluetooth network is called a piconet, and can have a maximum of eight nodes. Bluetooth devices must assume one of two roles within a piconet, master or slave, where the master governs quality of service and the frequency hopping schedule within the piconet and the slave follows the master’s schedule. A piconet must have a single master and up to 7 active slaves. By allowing devices to have roles in multiple piconets through time multiplexing, i.e. slave/slave or master/slave, the Bluetooth technology allows for interconnecting multiple piconets into larger networks called scatternets.

The Bluetooth technology is explored in the context of enabling ad-hoc networks. The Bluetooth specification provides flexibility in the scatternet formation protocol, outlining only the mechanisms necessary for future protocol implementations. A new protocol for scatternet formation and maintenance - mscat - is presented and its performance is evaluated using a Bluetooth simulator. The free variables manipulated in this study include device activity and the probabilities of devices performing discovery procedures. The relationship between the role a device has in the scatternet and it’s probability of performing discovery was examined and related to the scatternet topology formed. The results show that mscat creates dense network topologies for networks of 30, 50 and 70 nodes. The mscat protocol results in approximately a 33% increase in slaves/piconet and a reduction of approximately 12.5% of average roles/node. For 50 node scenarios the set of parameters which creates the best determined outcome is unconnected node inquiry probability (UP) = 10%, master node inquiry probability (MP) = 80% and slave inquiry probability (SP) = 40%. The mscat protocol extends the Bluetooth specification for formation and maintenance of scatternets in an ad-hoc network.