OpenVLC: a Research Platform for Visible Light Communication Networks

26 May

Qing Wang, PhD Student, IMDEA Networks Institute and University Carlos III of Madrid

In-house Presentation

In this talk, we introduce the OpenVLC, a software-defined open-source research platform for Visible Light Communication (VLC) networks. Built around the embedded Linux platform BeagleBone Black together with simple optoelectronic transceiver front-end, OpenVLC offers a basic physical layer, a set of essential medium access primitives, as well as interoperability with Internet protocols. We investigate the performance of OpenVLC and show how it can be used along with standard network diagnostics tools, e.g., ping, iperf, and so on. Currently, OpenVLC can achieve MAC layer throughput on the order of the basic rate of IEEE 802.15.7, and UDP throughput of 12.5 kb/s operating at distances up to 1 m. Besides, we propose a Carrier Sensing Multiple Access/Collision Detection&Hidden Avoidance (CSMA/CD-HA) medium access control protocol for a network where each node solely uses one Light Emitting Diode (LED) to transmit and receive data. The CSMA/CD-HA can enable in-band intra-frame bidirectional transmission with just one optical antenna. The key idea is to exploit the intra-frame data symbols without emission of light to introduce an embedded communication channel. This approach enables the transmission of additional data while receiving in the same optical frequency band and it makes the communication robust to different “optical antenna” directions of nodes. We implement the CSMA/CD-HA protocol based on the OpenVLC and evaluate its performance. Results show that collisions caused by hidden nodes can be largely reduced and our protocol can increase the saturation throughput by nearly up to 50% and 100% under the two- and four-node scenarios, respectively.

About Qing Wang

Mr. Qing Wang received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), Chengdu, China, in 2008 and 2011, respectively. He received a second master’s degree from the University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain, in 2012. He is currently a PhD student with the IMDEA Networks Institute as well as the University Carlos III of Madrid. He is supervised by Dr. Domenico Giustiniano.

Mr. Qing Wang has received the 2014 “Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad”. Only those students with outstanding performance in their PhD studies will be considered by the award selection panel and no more than 500 young talents will be granted the award every year all over the world. Mr. Qing Wang also received the “Outstanding Masters Thesis Award of Sichuan Province”, the “Outstanding Masters Thesis Award of UESTC” and the “Outstanding Bachelors Thesis Award of UESTC”, in 2013, 2011 and 2008, respectively. He mainly focused on the multi-channel MAC protocol design in Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) when he pursued his master degree at UESTC. After joining IMDEA Networks in 2011, he had participated in the project MEDIANET and solved optimization problems to improve the performance of dense wireless networks through device-to-device communication. Currently, he is working on the Visible Light Communication (VLC) and has successfully designed and implemented the VLC reference platform OpenVLC (

Personal site

This event will be conducted in English


  • Location: Sala 1.1/2 IMDEA Networks Institute, Avda. del Mar Mediterráneo 22, 28918 Leganés – Madrid

  • Organization: NETCOM Research Group (Telematics Engineering Department, UC3M); IMDEA Networks Institute
  • Time: 01:00 pm
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