Sensor Networks: From Theory to Tracking Bats in the Wild

Speaker:  Falko Dressler – Paderborn, Germany
Topic(s):  Architecture, Embedded Systems and Electronics, Robotics


With the development of new generations of micro controllers, the advances in miniaturization, and the increasing use of networked embedded systems, new research challenges emerged in several domains of computer science. This especially includes the coordination of massively distributed systems with inherent restrictions of available resources. Well-known concepts for management and control can only be used with noticeable restrictions or even not at all due to short-living batteries, unreliable radio communications, and bandwidth-limited transmission channels. Wireless sensor and actor networks imply challenging properties such as high system dynamics w.r.t. changing application demands, node mobility, and real-time constraints. Self-organization as a paradigm for coordination and control is envisioned to solve at least some of the issues.

The lecture starts with an overview of ongoing research activities in the field of adaptive wireless networking research. In the main part of the talk, I will first present a novel routing and data management protocol. The so called virtual cord protocol (VCP) uses the principles of distributed hash tables for data management in combination with underlay routing techniques. The innovative advantages of this protocol are its robustness in various scenarios and the completely distributed / self-organized operation. Besides routing, VCP supports push and pull strategies for data storage and lookup, as well as the challenging issue of dynamic service discovery. Secondly, I will focus on the applicability of sensor networking technology in industrial environments. We thoroughly evaluated the standardized IEEE 802.15.4 protocol suite in collaboration with industry partners. We identified several systematic limitations of the protocol that prevent its use in industry automation environments requiring robust real-time communication. Our protocol extensions, which are the basis for the forthcoming industry standard IEEE 802.15.4e, alleviate these shortcomings.

In a second part, concepts for tracking bats in the wild are presented. Sensor networks have been in the research focus since almost a decade. Despite the many great scientific findings, the initial vision of sensor networks has not yet become reality. Instead, we are replacing the term sensor networks by Internet-of-Things and others. In the scope of the DFG research group BATS, we are questioning again the initial challenges in this field, most importantly focusing on energy efficiency. Using sensor nodes for monitoring the behavior of bats in outdoor environments, we target a new era of embedded system design leading to systems weighting less than 2 g including the battery. In this talk, we will survey the resulting challenges with an emphasis on the higher layer functionality, i.e., on communication and coordination aspects in a highly mobile and distributed system. We will study energy efficient communication concepts with integrated self-organizing data management. The communication primitives to be developed primarily target the operation with limited energy and other systems resources.

About this Lecture

Number of Slides:  40
Duration:  60 minutes
Languages Available:  English
Last Updated: 

Request this Lecture

To request this particular lecture, please complete this online form.

Request a Tour

To request a tour with this speaker, please complete this online form.

All requests will be sent to ACM headquarters for review.