Concise and flexible programming of wireless sensor networks


Evers, Leon (2010) Concise and flexible programming of wireless sensor networks. thesis.

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Abstract:As computers get smaller, their use is becoming more widespread and ubiquitous. Soon computers will be all around us, interacting with us in our daily lives as networks of smart objects, or sensing their environment and communicating its findings as wireless sensor networks.

These wireless sensor network devices communicate with each other using low data rate digital radios. The devices are battery-operated and need to be small and cheap to be economically viable. Naturally, research in this field focuses on making efficient use of the scarce resources available, such as computation time and communication. The limited memory complicates implementation of many of the features common on `larger' computers.

Writing applications on these severely limited devices is challenging for a number of reasons:

First, small size of sensor network programs is crucial, to minimize development time, duration of transport and memory use. Powerful and effective programming languages abstractions are needed to reduce the size of programs and extend their capabilities.

Second, the challenge is to program devices with their desired behavior. For some applications only once, or infrequently, in other cases regular reprogramming is required. The low bandwidth communication and little memory make the transport of programs and their execution a non-trivial task.
Furthermore, for wirelessly accessible and (re)programmable devices protection from loading malicious applications is also highly desirable.

This dissertation motivates and describes the design and implementation of the SensorScheme platform, a programming language and interpreter based on the Scheme programming language, designed for wireless sensor networks to addresses the above challenges. SensorScheme uses the functional programming paradigm to produce concise programs, and provides a communication abstraction to facilitate easy construction of communication protocols and the transport of programs into the network.

We motivate and illustrate SensorScheme's design through the use of four application scenarios, and evaluate the impact of the use of SensorScheme on program size and computation speed.
Item Type:Thesis
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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