The location and context switching, especially the indoor/outdoor switching, provides essential and primitive information for upper layer mobile applications. In this paper, we present IODetector: a lightweight sensing service which runs on the mobile phone and detects the indoor/outdoor environment in a fast, accurate, and efficient manner. Constrained by the energy budget, IODetector leverages primarily lightweight sensing resources including light sensors, magnetism sensors, celltower signals, etc. For universal applicability, IODetector assumes no prior knowledge (e.g., fingerprints) of the environment and uses only on-board sensors common to mainstream mobile phones. Being a generic and lightweight service component, IODetector greatly benefits many location-based and context-aware applications. We prototype the IODetector on Android mobile phones and evaluate the system comprehensively with data collected from 19 traces which include 84 different places during one month period, employing different phone models. We further perform a case study where we make use of IODetector to instantly infer the GPS availability and localization accuracy in different indoor/outdoor environments.
Radio link quality estimation in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) has a fundamental impact on the network performance and also affects the design of higher-layer protocols. Therefore, for about a decade, it has been attracting a vast array of research works. Reported works on link quality estimation are typically based on different assumptions, consider different scenarios, and provide radically different (and sometimes contradictory) results. This article provides a comprehensive survey on related literature, covering the characteristics of low-power links, the fundamental concepts of link quality estimation in WSNs, a taxonomy of existing link quality estimators, and their performance analysis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first survey tackling in detail link quality estimation in WSNs. We believe our efforts will serve as a reference to orient researchers and system designers in this area.
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have emerged as an effective solution for a wide range of applications. Most of the traditional WSN architectures consist of static nodes which are densely deployed over a sensing area. Recently, several WSN architectures based on mobile elements (MEs) have been proposed. Most of them exploit mobility to address the problem of data collection in WSNs. In this article we first define WSNs with MEs and provide a comprehensive taxonomy of their architectures, based on the role of the MEs. Then we present an overview of the data collection process in such a scenario, and identify the corresponding issues and challenges. On the basis of these issues, we provide an extensive survey of the related literature. Finally, we compare the underlying approaches and solutions, with hints to open problems and future research directions.
As mobile phones advance in functionality and capability, they are being used for more than just communication. Increasingly, these devices are being employed as instruments for introspection into habits and situations of individuals and communities. Many of the applications enabled by this new use of mobile phones rely on contextual information. The focus of this work is on one dimension of context, the transportation mode of an individual when outside. We create a convenient (no specific position and orientation setting) classification system that uses a mobile phone with a built-in GPS receiver and an accelerometer. The transportation modes identified include whether an individual is stationary, walking, running, biking, or in motorized transport. The overall classification system consists of a decision tree followed by a first-order discrete Hidden Markov Model and achieves an accuracy level of 93.6% when tested on a dataset obtained from sixteen individuals.
Network lifetime has become the key characteristic for evaluating sensor networks in an application-specific way. Especially the availability of nodes, the sensor coverage, and the connectivity have been included in discussions on network lifetime. Even quality of service measures can be reduced to lifetime considerations. A great number of algorithms and methods were proposed to increase the lifetime of a sensor network-while their evaluations were always based on a particular definition of network lifetime. Motivated by the great differences in existing definitions of sensor network lifetime that are used in relevant publications, we reviewed the state of the art in lifetime definitions, their differences, advantages, and limitations. This survey was the starting point for our work towards a generic definition of sensor network lifetime for use in analytic evaluations as well as in simulation models-focusing on a formal and concise definition of accumulated network lifetime and total network lifetime. Our definition incorporates the components of existing lifetime definitions, and introduces some additional measures. One new concept is the ability to express the service disruption tolerance of a network. Another new concept is the notion of time-integration: in many cases, it is sufficient if a requirement is fulfilled over a certain period of time, instead of at every point in time. In addition, we combine coverage and connectivity to form a single requirement called connected coverage. We show that connected coverage is different from requiring noncombined coverage and connectivity. Finally, our definition also supports the concept of graceful degradation by providing means of estimating the degree of compliance with the application requirements. We demonstrate the applicability of our definition based on the surveyed lifetime definitions as well as using some example scenarios to explain the various aspects influencing sensor network lifetime.
Energy efficiency is one of the key objectives in data gathering in wireless sensor networks (WSNs). Recent research on energy-efficient data gathering in WSNs has explored the use of Compressive Sensing (CS) to parsimoniously represent the data. However, the performance of CS-based data gathering methods has been limited since the approaches failed to take advantage of judicious network configurations and effective CS-based data aggregation procedures. In this article, a novel Hierarchical Data Aggregation method using Compressive Sensing (HDACS) is presented, which combines a hierarchical network configuration with CS. Our key idea is to set multiple compression thresholds adaptively based on cluster sizes at different levels of the data aggregation tree to optimize the amount of data transmitted. The advantages of the proposed model in terms of the total amount of data transmitted and data compression ratio are analytically verified. Moreover, we formulate a new energy model by factoring in both processor and radio energy consumption into the cost, especially the computation cost incurred in relatively complex algorithms. We also show that communication cost remains dominant in data aggregation in the practical applications of large-scale networks. We use both the real-world data and synthetic datasets to test CS-based data aggregation schemes on the SIDnet-SWANS simulation platform. The simulation results demonstrate that the proposed HDACS model guarantees accurate signal recovery performance. It also provides substantial energy savings compared with existing methods.
Sensor network technology promises a vast increase in automatic data collection capabilities through efficient deployment of tiny sensing devices. The technology will allow users to measure phenomena of interest at unprecedented spatial and temporal densities. However, as with almost every data-driven technology, the many benefits come with a significant challenge in data reliability. If wireless sensor networks are really going to provide data for the scientific community, citizen-driven activism, or organizations which test that companies are upholding environmental laws, then an important question arises: How can a user trust the accuracy of information provided by the sensor network? Data integrity is vulnerable to both node and system failures. In data collection systems, faults are indicators that sensor nodes are not providing useful information. In data fusion systems the consequences are more dire; the final outcome is easily affected by corrupted sensor measurements, and the problems are no longer visibly obvious. In this article, we investigate a generalized and unified approach for providing information about the data accuracy in sensor networks. Our approach is to allow the sensor nodes to develop a community of trust. We propose a framework where each sensor node maintains reputation metrics which both represent past behavior of other nodes and are used as an inherent aspect in predicting their future behavior. We employ a Bayesian formulation, specifically a beta reputation system, for the algorithm steps of reputation representation, updates, integration and trust evolution. This framework is available as a middleware service on motes and has been ported to two sensor network operating systems, TinyOS and SOS. We evaluate the efficacy of this framework using multiple contexts: (1) a lab-scale test bed of Mica2 motes, (2) Avrora simulations, and (3) real data sets collected from sensor network deployments in James Reserve.
In this article we present SmartRoad, a crowd-sourced road sensing system that detects and identifies traffic regulators, traffic lights, and stop signs, in particular. As an alternative to expensive road surveys, SmartRoad works on participatory sensing data collected from GPS sensors from in-vehicle smartphones. The resulting traffic regulator information can be used for many assisted-driving or navigation systems. In order to achieve accurate detection and identification under realistic and practical settings, SmartRoad automatically adapts to different application requirements by (i) intelligently choosing the most appropriate information representation and transmission schemes, and (ii) dynamically evolving its core detection and identification engines to effectively take advantage of any external ground truth information or manual label opportunity. We implemented SmartRoad on a vehicular smartphone test bed, and deployed it on 35 external volunteer users' vehicles for two months. Experiment results show that SmartRoad can robustly, effectively, and efficiently carry out the detection and identification tasks.
Environment monitoring in coal mines is an important application of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) that has commercial potential. We discuss the design of a Structure-Aware Self-Adaptive WSN system, SASA. By regulating the mesh sensor network deployment and formulating a collaborative mechanism based on a regular beacon strategy, SASA is able to rapidly detect structure variations caused by underground collapses. We further develop a sound and robust mechanism for efficiently handling queries under instable circumstances. A prototype is deployed with 27 mica2 motes in a real coal mine. We present our implementation experiences as well as the experimental results. To better evaluate the scalability and reliability of SASA, we also conduct a large-scale trace-driven simulation based on real data collected from the experiments.
We present BikeNet, a mobile sensing system for mapping the cyclist experience. Built leveraging the MetroSense architecture to provide insight into the real-world challenges of people-centric sensing, BikeNet uses a number of sensors embedded into a cyclist's bicycle to gather quantitative data about the cyclist's rides. BikeNet uses a dual-mode operation for data collection, using opportunistically encountered wireless access points in a delay-tolerant fashion by default, and leveraging the cellular data channel of the cyclist's mobile phone for real-time communication as required. BikeNet also provides a Web-based portal for each cyclist to access various representations of her data, and to allow for the sharing of cycling-related data (for example, favorite cycling routes) within cycling interest groups, and data of more general interest (for example, pollution data) with the broader community. We present: a description and prototype implementation of the system architecture based on customized Moteiv Tmote Invent motes and sensor-enabled Nokia N80 mobile phones; an evaluation of sensing and inference that quantifies cyclist performance and the cyclist environment; a report on networking performance in an environment characterized by bicycle mobility and human unpredictability; and a description of BikeNet system user interfaces.
Participatory sensing is a powerful paradigm that takes advantage of smartphones to collect and analyze data beyond the scale of what was previously possible. Given that participatory sensing systems rely completely on the users' willingness to submit up-to-date and accurate information, it is paramount to effectively incentivize users' active and reliable participation. In this article, we survey existing literature on incentive mechanisms for participatory sensing systems. In particular, we present a taxonomy of existing incentive mechanisms for participatory sensing systems, which are subsequently discussed in depth by comparing and contrasting different approaches. Finally, we discuss an agenda of open research challenges in incentivizing users in participatory sensing.
Various sensor network measurement studies have reported instances of transient faults in sensor readings. In this work, we seek to answer a simple question: How often are such faults observed in real deployments? We focus on three types of transient faults, caused by faulty sensor readings that appear abnormal. To understand the prevalence of such faults, we first explore and characterize four qualitatively different classes of fault detection methods. Rule-based methods leverage domain knowledge to develop heuristic rules for detecting and identifying faults. Estimation methods predict "normal" sensor behavior by leveraging sensor correlations, flagging anomalous sensor readings as faults. Time-series-analysis-based methods start with an a priori model for sensor readings. A sensor measurement is compared against its predicted value computed using time series forecasting to determine if it is faulty. Learning-based methods infer a model for the "normal" sensor readings using training data, and then statistically detect and identify classes of faults. We find that these four classes of methods sit at different points on the accuracy/robustness spectrum. Rule-based methods can be highly accurate, but their accuracy depends critically on the choice of parameters. Learning methods can be cumbersome to train, but can accurately detect and classify faults. Estimation methods are accurate, but cannot classify faults. Time-series-analysis-based methods are more effective for detecting short duration faults than long duration ones, and incur more false positives than the other methods. We apply these techniques to four real-world sensor datasets and find that the prevalence of faults as well as their type varies with datasets. All four methods are qualitatively consistent in identifying sensor faults, lending credence to our observations. Our work is a first step towards automated online fault detection and classification.
We present empirical measurements of the packet delivery performance of the latest sensor platforms: Micaz and Telos motes. In this article, we present observations that have implications to a set of common assumptions protocol designers make while designing sensornet protocols-specifically-the MAC and network layer protocols. We first distill these common assumptions in to a conceptual model and show how our observations support or dispute these assumptions. We also present case studies of protocols that do not make these assumptions. Understanding the implications of these observations to the conceptual model can improve future protocol designs.
Smartphones have become the most pervasive devices in people's lives and are clearly transforming the way we live and perceive technology. Today's smartphones benefit from almost ubiquitous Internet connectivity and come equipped with a plethora of inexpensive yet powerful embedded sensors, such as an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a microphone, and a camera. This unique combination has enabled revolutionary applications based on the mobile crowdsensing paradigm, such as real-time road traffic monitoring, air and noise pollution, crime control, and wildlife monitoring, just to name a few. Differently from prior sensing paradigms, humans are now the primary actors of the sensing process, since they become fundamental in retrieving reliable and up-to-date information about the event being monitored. As humans may behave unreliably or maliciously, assessing and guaranteeing Quality of Information (QoI) becomes more important than ever. In this article, we provide a new framework for defining and enforcing the QoI in mobile crowdsensing and analyze in depth the current state of the art on the topic. We also outline novel research challenges, along with possible directions of future work.
We describe CTP, a collection routing protocol for wireless sensor networks. CTP uses three techniques to provide efficient, robust, and reliable routing in highly dynamic network conditions. CTP's link estimator accurately estimates link qualities by using feedback from both the data and control planes, using information from multiple layers through narrow, platform-independent interfaces. Second, CTP uses the Trickle algorithm to time the control traffic, sending few beacons in stable topologies yet quickly adapting to changes. Finally, CTP actively probes the topology with data traffic, quickly discovering and fixing routing failures. Through experiments on 13 different testbeds, encompassing seven platforms, six link layers, and multiple densities and frequencies, and detailed observations of a long-running sensor network application that uses CTP, we study how these three techniques contribute to CTP's overall performance.
This tutorial presents a detailed study of sensor faults that occur in deployed sensor networks and a systematic approach to model these faults. We begin by reviewing the fault detection literature for sensor networks. We draw from current literature, our own experience, and data collected from scientific deployments to develop a set of commonly used features useful in detecting and diagnosing sensor faults. We use this feature set to systematically define commonly observed faults, and provide examples of each of these faults from sensor data collected at recent deployments.
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are highly resource constrained in terms of power supply, memory capacity, communication bandwidth, and processor performance. Compression of sampling, sensor data, and communications can significantly improve the efficiency of utilization of three of these resources, namely, power supply, memory and bandwidth. Recently, there have been a large number of proposals describing compression algorithms for WSNs. These proposals are diverse and involve different compression approaches. It is high time that these individual efforts are put into perspective and a more holistic view taken. In this article, we take a step in that direction by presenting a survey of the literature in the area of compression and compression frameworks in WSNs. A comparative study of the various approaches is also provided. In addition, open research issues, challenges and future research directions are highlighted.
Holistic aggregations are popular queries for users to obtain detailed summary information from Wireless Sensor Networks. An aggregation operation is holistic if there is no constant bound on the size of the storage needed to describe a sub-aggregation. Since holistic aggregation cannot be distributable, it requires that all the sensory data should be sent to the sink in order to obtain the exact holistic aggregation results, which costs lots of energy. However, in most applications, exact holistic aggregation results are not necessary; instead, approximate results are acceptable. To save energy as much as possible, we study the approximated holistic aggregation algorithms based on uniform sampling. In this article, four holistic aggregation operations, frequency, distinct-count, rank, and quantile, are investigated. The mathematical methods to construct their estimators and determine optional sample size are proposed, and the correctness of these methods are proved. Four corresponding distributed holistic algorithms to derive ( , Δ)-approximate aggregation results are given. The solid theoretical analysis and extensive simulation results show that all the proposed algorithms have high performance on the aspects of accuracy and energy consumption.
SensorScope is a turnkey solution for environmental monitoring systems, based on a wireless sensor network and resulting from a collaboration between environmental and network researchers. Given the interest in climate change, environmental monitoring is a domain where sensor networks will have great impact by providing high resolution spatio-temporal data for long periods of time. SensorScope is such a system, which has already been successfully deployed multiple times in various environments (e.g., mountainous, urban). Here, we describe the overall hardware and software architectures and especially focus on the sensor network itself. We also describe one of our most prominent deployments, on top of a rock glacier in Switzerland, which resulted in the description of a micro-climate phenomenon leading to cold air release from a rock-covered glacier in a region of high alpine risks. Another focus of this paper is the description of what happened behind the scenes to turn SensorScope from a laboratory experiment into successful outdoor deployments in harsh environments. Illustrated by various examples, we point out many lessons learned while working on the project. We indicate the importance of simple code, well suited to the application, as well as the value of close interaction with end-users in planning and running the network and finally exploiting the data.
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are composed of tiny devices with limited computation and battery capacities. For such resource-constrained devices, data transmission is a very energy-consuming operation. To maximize WSN lifetime, it is essential to minimize the number of bits sent and received by each device. One natural approach is to aggregate sensor data along the path from sensors to the sink. Aggregation is especially challenging if end-to-end privacy between sensors and the sink (or aggregate integrity) is required. In this article, we propose a simple and provably secure encryption scheme that allows efficient additive aggregation of encrypted data. Only one modular addition is necessary for ciphertext aggregation. The security of the scheme is based on the indistinguishability property of a pseudorandom function (PRF), a standard cryptographic primitive. We show that aggregation based on this scheme can be used to efficiently compute statistical values, such as mean, variance, and standard deviation of sensed data, while achieving significant bandwidth savings. To protect the integrity of the aggregated data, we construct an end-to-end aggregate authentication scheme that is secure against outsider-only attacks, also based on the indistinguishability property of PRFs.