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Archive for the ‘wsn-papers’ Category

Call for Industry Papers

The 9th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys 2011) has included an industry session to reinforce the interaction between academic research and industry. Industry papers should focus on the same topics as in the general call, however,  they should adopt a different viewpoint by focusing on design, implementation, deployment, and use of realistic systems. Furthermore, industry session papers are not expected to present novel research. The types of papers the session seeks to publish include but are not limited to descriptions of:

• Real systems that have been built and deployed
• Engineering challenges in the industry context
• Deployment, usability, and maintenance issues
• Academic research challenges arising from the industry context
• Academic research that’s considered irrelevant in industry context
• Business opportunities and business failures

Submission guidelines and other info available here.

A Special Issue for Sensor Networks and Applications

A network more powerful than the Internet, while perhaps inconceivable right now, is just one of many potentially life-changing applications for wireless sensor networks (WSN) highlighted in a special November update issue about Sensor Networks and Applications in Proceedings of the IEEE, the world’s most highly-cited general interest journal in electrical engineering and computer science since 1913.

Published by the IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association, additional topics of this Proceedings issue include a look at forward-thinking healthcare applications for WSN that could greatly improve electronic triage at large disasters by monitoring the injured as well as medical personnel; a conservation approach for utilizing sensor networks to conserve natural resources like electricity, gas and water, and the emerging trend of publishing real-time sensor data on the Web that opens up a wide variety of novel application scenarios.

“Sensor network research has grown dramatically in the seven years since Proceedings of the IEEE first published a special research issue on ‘Sensor Networks and Applications’ in August, 2003,” explains Neal Patwari, guest editor for the Sensor Networks and Applications edition. “The visions for sensor networks and their applications have changed as research perspectives have shifted, so as we move forward it is important to pause at this crossroad and ‘look both ways’ to better understand how these perspectives came to be and have evolved over time.”

Sensor network research of the past decade is enabling a new tier of the Internet to emerge. As presented in “IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6)in Low-Power Wireless Networks” by Jonathan Hui and David Culler, developments of the past decade in low-power networking technology as well as the Internet Protocol will allow the Internet to extend into the physical world.

“A decade ago, the sensor networking community eschewed the use of IP for low-power networking because of a perception that IP was too resource-intensive and ill-suited to the needs of sensor network applications,” explains Jonathan Hui of Cisco Systems. “Not being bound to particular network architecture allowed significant developments in low-power wireless networking, but it was difficult to incorporate such networks into an existing IP-based network infrastructure.”

The paper demonstrates that it is possible to take the recent developments of low-power wireless networking and incorporate them into IP-based network architecture.

“IPv6, the next version of the Internet Protocol designed to supersede IPv4, provides the necessary scaling and autoconfiguration properties needed to handle the expected growth of the Internet,” says Hui. “IPv6 also provides the flexibility to include sensor networking advancements in low-power communication and mesh routing within the IP framework.”

With various standards bodies, such as the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), Z-Wave and ZigBee, adopting IP within low-power wireless networking standards, the stage has been set for the next tier of the Internet.

“With physically embedded devices, the Internet will grow far beyond its current scale with new and unforeseen applications,” predicts Hui. “IP provides the necessary architecture and framework for continued innovation in the low-power wireless networking space.”

Medical care will be a major beneficiary of the research outlined in “Wireless Sensor Networks for Healthcare” by JeongGil Ko, Chenyang Lu, Mani B. Srivastava, John A. Stankovic, Andreas Terzis and Matt Welsh, when these applications come to fruition. For example, according to the authors, the increased portability, scalability, and rapidly deployable nature of wireless sensing systems can be used to automatically report triage levels of numerous victims and continuously track the health status of first responders at the disaster scene more effectively.

While the paper acknowledges that triage protocols for monitoring the injured in mass-casualty disasters and other emergencies already exist, the problem currently is that their effectiveness can quickly degrade with increasing numbers of victims.

“There’s a critical need to employ new WSN technology to improve how we monitor the health of first responders during mass-casualty disasters, because if the people on the ground cannot function at an optimal level due to exhaustion or health issues we must know this and intervene before they and the disaster victims suffer negative consequences,” explains JeongGil Ko of Johns Hopkins University.

With the aging of America, the use of wireless sensor technology to foster an economical and efficient way to monitor age-related illnesses could be big news now and in the future. The paper explains how wireless networked sensors could be carried on a person or embedded in people’s living spaces to collect data about personal, physical, physiological and behavioral states in real-time, everywhere.

“These ‘living records’ will help individuals increase self-awareness of their health situation and will also help caregivers obtain early intervention when problems are evident,” explains Ko.

Also explained in this medical-focused article is the potential for a WSN monitoring application that provides aging and infirm patients with assistance for motor and sensory decline.

“When these sensors are worn by patients in declining health, the sensors deliver data that enable off-site medical support teams to attempt to help them retrain declining parts like arms and legs or provide some medical or mechanical supports so the patient can sustain a safe level of independence as long as feasible,” explained Ko. “Ultimately the network sensors can help determine the right time for assistance devices like canes, crutches, walkers and wheel chairs.”

It won’t be long until “Smart Buildings” are helping us conserve both energy and money by employing WSNs that adjust instantly to optimum heating and cooling temperatures, according to a paper with environmental research ramifications. Entitled “Circuit Design Advances for Wireless Sensing Applications” by Dennis Sylvester, Gregory Chen, Scott Hanson and David Blaauw the paper provides a comprehensive review of recent work in ultra-low-power circuits with examples of specific applications for medical diagnosis, infrastructure monitoring and environmental sensing among others.

Another future-gazing example is the use of agricultural sensors implanted in the ground adjacent to where crops grow that can deliver finite measurements for water presence and help save this resource by reducing the amount of water necessary for healthy crop growth. This application is explained in the research paper “Measurement Scheduling for Soil Moisture Sensing: From Physical Models to Optimal Control” by David Shuman, Ashutosh Nayyar, Aditya Mahajan, Yuriy Goykhman, Ke Li and Mingyan Liu.

More info here.

Interesting paper: A high-resolution human contact network for infectious disease transmission

Abstract: The most frequent infectious diseases in humans—and those with the highest potential for rapid pandemic spread—are usually transmitted via droplets during close proximity interactions (CPIs). Despite the importance of this transmission route, very little is known about the dynamic patterns of CPIs. Using wireless sensor network technology, we obtained high-resolution data of CPIs during a typical day at an American high school, permitting the reconstruction of the social network relevant for infectious disease transmission. At 94% coverage, we collected 762,868 CPIs at a maximal distance of 3 m among 788 individuals. The data revealed a high-density network with typical small-world properties and a relatively homogeneous distribution of both interaction time and interaction partners among subjects. Computer simulations of the spread of an influenza-like disease on the weighted contact graph are in good agreement with absentee data during the most recent influenza season. Analysis of targeted immunization strategies suggested that contact network data are required to design strategies that are significantly more effective than random immunization. Immunization strategies based on contact network data were most effective at high vaccination coverage.

Read the complete paper here.

Human As Sensor

This is a keynote presented by Prof. Alex Paul Pentland on SenSys 2010.

Download video:

More info here.

Paper: Surviving Wi-Fi Interference in Low Power ZigBee Networks

Frequency overlap across wireless networks with different radio technologies can cause severe interference and reduce communication reliability. The circumstances are particularly unfavorable for ZigBee networks that share the 2.4 GHz ISM band with WiFi senders capable of 10 to 100 times higher transmission power.

Our work first examines the interference patterns between ZigBee and WiFi networks at the bit-level granularity. Under certain conditions, ZigBee activities can trigger a nearby WiFi transmitter to back off, in which case the header is often the only part of the ZigBee packet being corrupted. We call this the symmetric interference regions, in comparison to the asymmetric regions where the ZigBee signal is too weak to be detected by WiFi senders, but WiFi activity can uniformly corrupt any bit in a ZigBee packet. With these observations, we design BuzzBuzz to mitigate WiFi interference through header and payload redundancy. Multi-Headers provides header redundancy giving ZigBee nodes multiple opportunities to detect incoming packets.

Then, TinyRS, a full-featured Reed Solomon library for resource-constrained devices, helps decoding polluted packet payload. On a medium-sized testbed, BuzzBuzz improves the ZigBee network delivery rate by 70%. Furthermore, BuzzBuzz reduces ZigBee retransmissions by a factor of three, which increases the WiFi throughput by 10%.

Read the complete paper here.

Interconnecting Smart Objects with IP: The Next Internet

A new guide book is available both for newcomers, experienced engineers and developers in the area of IP-based smart objects/wireless sensor networks/the Internet of things. The book covers a broad area including architecture, technology, applications with a significant depth in routing protocols and software implementation.

Table of contents
Excerpts from all chapters are available here
Amazon link

WSN and wireless chicken study

A one-page paper announcing that wireless technology is for the birds. Or at least the chickens. Michigan State University has plucked a $375,000 federal grant to study the habits of commercial egg-laying hens by using wireless sensors to track “activity profiles.” That’s academic speak for how the hens pass the time when not laying eggs, cackling or playing coy with roosters.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is paying researchers to hook up chickens with a “hen-mountable wireless system” to study how they interact with other birds. The work will help the farmers know how much space hens need and what types of “non-cage housing systems” will provide the “best possible welfare for the animals,” according to MSU.

“Ultimately, the sensors will tell us what behavior a hen is performing. Is she laying an egg? Eating? Or roosting on a perch? Does she fly or walk to move around?” Janice Siegford, a professor of animal science at MSU, said in a statement.

More info here.