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Wireless Sensor Networks

Introduction to Wireless Sensor Networks XP

A wireless sensor network (WSN) is an infrastructure

comprised of sensing (measuring), computing, and
communication elements that gives a user the ability to
instrument, observe, and react to events and phenomena in
a specified environment.
There are four basic components in a WSN:
An assembly of distributed or localized sensors (sensing and
computation nodes)
An interconnection network,
A central point of information gathering, and
A set of computing resources at the central point (or beyond) to
handle data correlation, event trending, status querying, and data

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Wireless Sensor Networks XP


Sink node

Sensor node
Monitored Area

Introduction to Wireless Sensor Networks XP

Wireless Sensor Networks are networks that consists of

sensors which are distributed in an ad hoc manner.
These sensors work with each other to sense some
physical phenomenon and then the information gathered
is processed to get relevant results.
Wireless sensor networks consists of protocols and
algorithms with self-organizing capabilities.

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Example of WSN XP


Applications of WSN XP

Traditionally, the sensors have been used in high-end

applications, such as radiation detection systems
Later, they were used to in factory automation
Most recently, they have a focus of much simpler
applications, such as habitat and seismic monitoring, and
others directed to consumer applications

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Applications of WSNs XP

Broadly, WSN applications can be categorized into the

following groups:
M i l i t a ry applications
Monitoring friendly and enemy forces and equipment; military theater or
battlefield surveillance; targeting; battle damage assessment; and
I n d u s t r i a l and business applications
Machine surveillance; preventive maintenance; logistics; facility
management; inventory control; and more
E n v i r o n m e n t a l and Ecology applications
Climate changes; forest fire detection; flood detection; precision
agriculture; and more
H e a l t h applications
Monitoring of vital signs; tracking and monitoring doctors and patients;
drug administration; and more

Applications of WSNs XP

H o m e applications
Home automation; instrumented environment; and more
E n t e r t a i n m e n t Applications
S e c u r i t y Applications
A g r i c u l t u r a l Applications
A r t Applications

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Military Applications XP

Mobile Sensor in the military

The robotic weapons now playing greater roles on the battlefield.

Military Applications XP

Unattended ground sensor network for area force


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Industrial Applications XP

LCD plants
To prevent shaking of the glass substrate during processing
Improve the productivity (increase 5%)
Seismic SensorsDisplacement Sensors

Industrial Applications XP

Smart Parking in San Fransico, CA

Drivers will be alerted to empty parking places either by displays on
street signs, or by looking at maps on screens of their smart phones.
They may even be able to pay for parking by cell phone, and add to
the parking meter from their phones without returning to the car.

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Environment and Ecology XP

Underwater Sensor Network

To detect shoal, marine life, etc.
Sonar Sensor

Environment and Ecology XP

Debris Flow Monitoring of Wireless Sensor Network

Humidity Sensor, Temperature Sensor, Pressure
Sensor, Optical Sensor

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Environment and Ecology XP

The GlacsWeb Architecture

Using the sensor to detect the movement of the glacier, then the
sensor sending a message to the system to monitor the glacier.
Pressure Sensor, Temperature Sensor and Orientation Sensor

Base Station Sensor node

Sensor node

Environment and Ecology XP

Habitat Monitoring on Great Duck Island

Wireless sensor networks monitor the microclimates in and
around nesting burrow used by the Leachs Storm Petrel
Temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, mid-range infrared,
and image

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Health Care XP

WHMS - Wearable Health Monitoring Systems

Health Care XP

Health Hero Network

Sensor network technology has been under development for years and has
matured to a great degree in the last few years.
Imagine a system where every person in the world had a chip that could
monitor their vital signs (heartbeats, body temperature, etc.) and then relay
these to a central tracking facility such as a hospital or doctors office).
Capsule Endoscope
11mm x 26mm

Data Recorder
with Batery pack
which can be
downloaded onto
laptop computer


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Smart Home XP

Aegis - Smart Home

Imagine walking into your house, and tapping a button on your iPad then seeing
the lights come on, your air conditioning change to a comfortable temperature, and
your favorite program come onto the TV.
Sensor Model : Octopus II with Orientation Sensor, G-Sensor, Infrared Sensor and
Gas Sensor

Entertainment Applications XP

Wii (Nintendo - Game Player )

One main feature of the Wii Remote is its motion sensing
capability, which allows the user to interact with and manipulate
items on screen via gesture recognition.
Motion Sensor (Orientation Sensor + G-Sensor ) and Infrared

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Entertainment Applications XP

Wii Vitality Sensor

The device will sense the user's pulse and a number of other signals
transmitted by Humans bodies.

Security Applications XP

Disaster Relief and Guiding System

Constructs the escape system with the Wireless Sensor Networks
Detects the high temperature area.
Guide to the evacuation exit.
Report to firemen.
Temperature Sensors

2F G

Control host


EMG_exit sensor Base Station Controller

EMG_stair sensor

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Security Applications XP

(b) Show the direction

(d) Change the direction
(a) Sensor Node and Model

Security Applications XP

Volcanic eruption
Effective early warning systems
Using Seismic Sensors to detect seismic event when eruption

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Security Applications XP

Agricultural Applications XP

The oriental fruit fly Ecological Monitoring and Early

Warning System
Sensor Model : Octopus II with Humidity Sensor, Temperature Sensor, Pressure Sensor and
Optical Sensor

Octopus II

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Agricultural Applications XP

Application of WSN technology in the oriental fruit fly

ecological monitoring

Agricultural Applications XP

Green houses
Wireless sensor networks are also used to control the
temperature and humidity levels inside commercial greenhouses
Temperature sensor, humidity sensor

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Art Applications - Interactive Art & Humanity XP

Art Design - Sound Trees

Art Design - Interactive Wall

Art Applications - Interactive Art & Humanity XP

A Sidewalk of Sound Trees

1. The weather
2. Interact with the viewer.

Humidity Sensor, Temperature

Sensor, Optical Sensor, Ultrasonic
Sensor, Anemometer Sensor


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Art Applications - Interactive Art & Humanity XP

WSN in Interactive Wall

Deploy the sensor in the wall to sense the data and show the
image or text at the wall (LEDs).
Humidity Sensor, Temperature Sensor, Optical Sensor,
Ultrasonic Sensor


Art Applications - Interactive Art & Humanity XP

MSOrgm (Motivational Sensitive Organism)

A personal robot designed to interact with the viewer
Camera and Infrared Sensor

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Art Applications - Interactive Art & Humanity XP

The Future Museum - Step Around Archival Taiwan

Using the Diamond Touch Floor to sense the user's location and
Interactively control of the music and photo display.

Types of applicationsanother look XP

Most of the applications mentioned share a

common characteristic: a clear difference
between source(s) of data and the
destination (called sinks).
Sources of data the actual nodes that sense
data, usually have an actuator that is usually
controlled by the source(s).
Sinks nodes where the data should be
delivered to.
These sinks sometimes are part of the sensor network
itself; sometimes they are clearly systems outside the

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Players of a WSN XP

Sources of data: Measure data, report them to

Typically equipped with different kinds of actual sensors

Sinks of data: Interested in receiving data from WSN

May be part of the WSN or an external entity, such as a
PDA, or a gateway

Other characteristics of WSNs XP

The interaction patterns between sources and sinks

show some typical patterns. The most relevant ones
Event detection
Sensors report to the sink(s) once they have detected the

occurrence of a specified event
Periodic measurements
Sensors periodically report measured values
Function approximation and edge detection
Sensors could be used to approximate the measured phenomena
(e.g., temperature changes) as a function of location; or they could
be asked to find the areas or points of the same value
Sensors could be used to report updates on the event sources

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Deployment options of WSNs XP

The examples of WSNs also have shown a wide

diversity in deployment options.
Random deployment
Usually uniform random distribution for nodes over finite area is
Is that a likely proposition?
Fixed deployment
E.g., in preventive maintenance or similar
Not necessarily geometric structure, but that is often a
convenient assumption
Mobile sensor nodes
Can move to compensate for deployment shortcomings
Can be passively moved around by some external force (wind,
Can actively seek out interesting areas

Maintenance options XP

The applications also influence the available

maintenance options:
Feasible and/or practical to maintain sensor nodes?
E.g., to replace batteries?
Unattended operation?
Impossible but not relevant? Missions lifetime might be
very small
Or do these sensors have to function unattended, for a
long time, with no possibility for maintenance?
Closely related to the maintenance options are the
options for Energy supply?
Limited from point of deployment?
Some form of recharging, energy scavenging from environment?
E.g., solar cells

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Challenges for WSNsCharacteristics XP

Handling such a wide range of application types will

hardly be possible with any single realization of a
Nonetheless, certain common traits appear,
especially with respect to the characteristics and the
required mechanisms of such systems.
Realizing these characteristics with new mechanisms
is the major challenge of the vision of wireless sensor

Challenges for WSNsCharacteristics XP

Type of service
Not simply moving bits like another network
Rather: provide answers (not just numbers)
Issues like geographic scoping are natural
requirements, absent from other networks
Quality of service
Traditional QoS metrics do not apply
Still, service of WSN must be good: Right answers at
the right time
Fault tolerance
Be robust against node failure (running out of energy, physical
destruction, )

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Challenges of WSNsCharacteristics2 XP

The network should fulfill its task as long as possible
definition depends on application
Lifetime of individual nodes relatively unimportant
Support large number of nodes
Wide range of densities
Vast or small number of nodes per unit area, very application-

Challenges of WSNsCharacteristics3 XP

Re-programming of nodes in the field might be
necessary, improve flexibility
WSN has to adapt to changes, self-monitoring, adapt
Incorporate possible additional resources; e.g., newly
deployed nodes

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Challenges for WSNsMechanisms XP

To realize these requirements, innovative

mechanisms for a communication network have to be
found, as well as new architectures, and protocol
Some of the mechanisms that will form typical parts
of WSNs are:
Multi-hop wireless communication
Use of intermediate nodes as relays
Energy-efficient operation
Both for communication and computation, sensing,
Manual configuration just not an option

Challenges for WSNsMechanisms2 XP

Collaboration and in-network processing

Nodes in the network collaborate towards a joint goal
Pre-processing data in network (as opposed to at the
edge) can greatly improve efficiency
Data centric networking
Focusing network design on data, not on node identities
(id-centric networking)
To improve efficiency
Do things locally (on node or among nearby neighbors) as
far as possible
Exploit tradeoffs
E.g., between invested energy and accuracy

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A mobile ad hoc network (MANET) is a type of ad hoc

(developed on-the-fly for a specific purpose) network
that can change locations and configure itself on the fly .
In terms of computer networking, an ad hoc network
refers to a network connection established for a single
session and does not require a router or a wireless base
station) that can change locations and configure itself on
the fly.
Because MANETS are mobile, they use wireless
connections to connect to various networks
(connections can be a standard Wi-Fi connection, or
another medium, such as a cellular or satellite

MANETs visually XP

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MANETs and WSN have many commonalities,

including self-organization, energy efficiency, and
often wireless multi-hop
However, there are some principle differences
between them:
Applications, equipment: MANETs assume more
powerful (and expensive!) equipment, often human in
the loop-type applications, higher data rates, more
Application-specific: WSNs application dependence is
much greater; i.e., one-size-does-NOT-fit-all; MANETs

MANET versus WNS2 XP

Environment interaction: is in the core of WSN;

irrelevant in MANET
Scale: WSN might have much larger number of nodes;
MANETs scale to a smaller number
Energy: both are short in energy resources, but WSNs
have tighter requirements, maintenance issues
Dependability and QoS: in WSNs, an individual node
may be dispensable (network matters), QoS is different
because of different applications
Data centric: WNSs are; MANETs are id-centric
Mobility: different mobility patterns (e.g., in WSN,

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Enabling technologies for WSNs XP

Cost reduction
For wireless communication, simple microcontroller,
sensing, batteries
Some applications demand small size
Smart dust as the most extreme vision
Energy scavenging
Recharge batteries from ambient energy (light, vibration,

Summary XP

MANETs and WSNs are challenging and promising

system concepts
Many similarities, many differences
Both require new types of architectures & protocols
compared to traditional wired and wireless
In particular, application-specific nature is a new

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Wireless Sensor Architecture

General Principles and

Architectures for
Putting Sensor Nodes
Together to Form a
Meaningful Netw ork

Mobile ad hoc networks XP

Nodes talking to each other

Nodes talking to some node in another network
(Web server on the Internet, e.g.)
Typically requires some connection to the fixed network
Applications: Traditional data (http, ftp, or
collaborative apps) & multimedia (voice, video); i.e.,
humans in the loop

Access Point

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Sources and sinks revisited XP

Sources: Any entity that provides data/measurements

Sinks: Nodes where information is required
Belongs to the sensor network as such
Is an external entity, e.g., a PDA, but directly connected to the
Main difference: comes and goes, often moves around,
Is part of an external network (e.g., internet), somehow
connected to the WSN

Source Source

Sink Sink Internet


Single- versus multiple-hops XP

One common problem: limited range of wireless communication

Essentially due to limited transmission power, path loss, obstacles
Option: multi-hop networks
Send packets to an intermediate node
Intermediate node forwards packet to its destination
Store-and-forward multi-hop network
Basic technique applies to both WSN and MANET
Note: Store&forward multi-hopping NOT the only possible solution
E.g., collaborative networking, network coding
Do not operate on a per-packet basis

Source Obstacle

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Hopping in WSNs XP

Sources of mobility XP

Node mobility
A node participating as source/sink (or destination) or a relay
node might move around
Deliberately, self-propelled or by external force; targeted or
at random
Happens in both WSN and MANET
Sink mobility
In WSN, a sink that is not part of the WSN might move
Mobile requester
Event mobility
In WSN, event that is to be observed moves around (or
extends, shrinks)
Different WSN nodes become responsible for surveillance of
such an event

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Sink mobility XP


of answers


Event mobility XP

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Challenging goals: QoS XP

In MANET: Usual QoS interpretation

High perceived QoS for multimedia applications
In WSN, more complicated
Event detection and/or reporting probability
Event classification error
Detection delay
Probability of missing a periodic report
Approximation accuracy (e.g., when WSN constructs
a temperature map)
Tracking accuracy (e.g., difference between true
and conjectured position of the pink elephant)
Related goal: robustness

Challenging goals: Efficiency XP

Energy per correctly received bit

Counting all the overheads, in intermediate nodes, etc.
Energy per reported (unique) event
After all, information is important, not payload bits!
Delay/energy tradeoffs
Network lifetime
Time to first node failure
Network half-life (how long until 50% of the nodes died?)
Time to partition
Time to loss of coverage
Time to failure of first event notification

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Challenging goals: Scalability XP

Network should be operational regardless of

number of nodes
At high efficiency
Typical node counts difficult to guess
MANETs: 10s to 100s
WSNs: 10s to 1000s, maybe more (possible?)
Requiring to scale to large node numbers has
consequences for network architecture
Might not result in the most efficient solutions for small
Carefully consider the actual application needs before
looking for many solutions!

Design principles XP

Distributed organization
In-network processing
Distributed source coding and distributed compression
Distributed and collaborative signal processing
Mobile code/agent networking
Adaptive fidelity
Data centricity
Address data, not nodes
Implementation options
Overlay networks and distributed hash tables

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Design principles2 XP

Location information
Activity patterns
Component-based protocol stacks and cross-
layer optimization
Service interfaces
Gateway concepts

Distributed organization XP

Participants should cooperate in organizing the

E.g., with respect to medium access, routing,
Centralistic approach as alternative usually not
feasiblehinders scalability, robustness
Potential shortcomings
Not clear whether distributed or centralistic organization
achieves better energy efficiency (when all overheads
Option: limited centralized solution
Elect nodes for local coordination/control
Perhaps rotate this function over time

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In-network processing XP

MANETs are supposed to deliver bits from one end

to the other
WSNs, however, are expected to provide
information, not necessarily original bits
Additional options
E.g., manipulate or process the data in the network

Main example: aggregation

Apply composable aggregation functions to a converge
cast tree in a network
Typical functions: minimum, maximum, average, sum,
Not amenable functions: median

In-network processing: Aggregation XP

Reduce number of transmitted bits/packets by

applying an aggregation function in the network

1 1

3 1
1 1
6 1

1 1

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In-network processing: Distributed XP

Depending on application, more sophisticated processing of

data can take place within the network
Example edge detection: locally exchange raw data with neighboring
nodes, compute edges, only communicate edge description to far
away data sinks
Example tracking/angle detection of signal source: Conceive of
sensor nodes as a distributed microphone array, use it to compute
the angle of a single source, only communicate this angle, not all the
raw data
Exploit temporal and spatial correlation
Observed signals might vary only slowly in time ! no need to transmit
all data at full rate all the time
Signals of neighboring nodes are often quite similar ! only try to
transmit differences (details a bit complicated, see later)
Seek other programming paradigms: mobile code, swarm

Adaptive fidelity XP

Adapt the effort with which data is exchanged to

the currently required accuracy/fidelity
Example: event detection
When there is no event, only very rarely send short all
is well messages
When event occurs, increase rate of message
Example: temperature
When temperature is in acceptable range, only send
temperature values at low resolution
When temperature becomes high, increase resolution
and thus message length

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Data-centric networking XP

In typical networks (including ad hoc networks), network

transactions are addressed to the identities of specific
A node-centric or address-centric networking paradigm
In a redundantly deployed sensor networks, specific source
of an event, alarm, etc. might not be important
Redundancy: e.g., several nodes can observe the same area
Thus: focus networking transactions on the data directly
instead of their senders and transmitters ! data-centric
Principal design change

Implementation options XP

Overlay networks & distributed hash tables

Hash table: content-addressable memory
Retrieve data from an unknown source, like in peer-to-
peer networkingwith efficient implementation
Some disparities remain
Static key in DHT, dynamic changes in WSN
DHTs typically ignore issues like hop count or distance
between nodes when performing a lookup operation

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Implementation options2 XP

Different interaction paradigm
Nodes can publish data, can subscribe to any particular
kind of data
Once data of a certain type has been published, it is
delivered to all subscribes
Subscription and publication are decoupled in time;
subscriber and published are agnostic of each other
(decoupled in identity)
Matches with the idea of using a data-centric organization
of the networking protocols
Interested in certain aspects of data == formulating
queries for a database

Other design principles XP

Exploit location information

Required anyways for many applications; can considerably increase
Exploit activity patterns
Watch for event shower effect
Exploit heterogeneity
By construction: nodes of different types in the network
By evolution: some nodes had to perform more tasks and have less
energy left; some nodes received more solar energy than others;
Cross-layer optimization of protocol stacks for WSN
Goes against grain of standard networking; but promises big
performance gains
Also applicable to other networks like ad hoc; usually at least
worthwhile to consider for most wireless networks

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Service interfaces XP

The worlds all-purpose network interface: sockets

Good for transmitting data from one sender to one receiver
Not well matched to WSN needs (ok for ad hoc networks)
Expressibility requirements
Support for simple request/response interactions
Support for asynchronous event notification
Different ways for identifying addressee of data
By location, by observed values, implicitly by some other
form of group membership, by some semantically
meaningful formroom 123
Easy accessibility of in-network processing functions
Formulate complex eventsevents defined only by
several nodes
Allow to specify accuracy & timeliness requirements
Access node/network status information (e.g., battery level)
Security, management functionality,

Gateway concepts in WSNs XP

Necessary to the Internet for remote access to WSNs

Same is true for ad hoc networks; additional complications due to
mobility (change route to the gateway; use different gateways)
WSN: Additionally bridge the gap between different interaction
semantics (data vs. address-centric networking) in the gateway
Gateway needs support for different radios/protocols,

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WSN to Internet communication XP

Example: Deliver an alarm message to an Internet host

Need to find a gateway (integrates routing & service discovery)
Choose best gateway if several are available
How to find Alice or Alices IP?

Alert Alice
Alices desktop


Alices PDA

Internet to WSN communication XP

How to find the right WSN to answer a need?
How to translate from IP protocols to WSN protocols,

Remote requester

Gateway Gateway

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WSN tunneling XP

Use the Internet to tunnel WSN packets

between two remote WSNs


Gateway Gateway

Summary XP

Network architectures for ad hoc networks arein

principlerelatively straightforward and similar to
standard networks
Mobility is compensated for by appropriate protocols, but
interaction paradigms dont change too much
WSNs, on the other hand, look quite different on
many levels
Data-centric paradigm, the need and the possibility to
manipulate data as it travels through the network opens
new possibilities for protocol design
Next, we will look at how these ideas are realized
by actual protocols

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