Plenary Lecture

Recent Advances in Technologies, Protocols, Implementation and Simulation Tools of Sensor Networks towards Designing Scalable and Energy Efficient Architectures and Algorithms for Addressing Coverage, Localization and Information Fusion in Real World Applications Based on Low Cost Distributed Hardware Implementations and Open Source Simulators: A Layered Approach

Professor Dimitrios A. Karras
Dept. Automation, Hellas
Chalkis Institute of Technology

Abstract: Wireless sensor networks (WSN) have been identified as one of the most important technologies for the 21st century. The idea of creating an automated network of intelligent agents that can interact with their environment and report unusual conditions has stimulated the efforts of many research groups. With the recent advances in wireless communication, and the proliferation of portable computer and micro-sensor devices, we are witnessing a growing interest in using wireless multimedia sensor networks and collaborative virtual environment technologies for safety and security class of applications.
However, it is widely known that sensor networks are difficult to program and even harder to debug, due to the distributed and layered nature of the network and the limited output resources and means of interaction of the devices themselves. An in depth analysis therefore, is needed in order to specify the basic components and their interaction of wireless sensor network layered architectures and corresponding simulation tools architectures. A major, also, issue is the definition of the open problems with respect to WSN research concerning their design as well as their simulation. We will focus upon the design of large-scale distributed simulation systems for applications that require critical condition monitoring using both location/context aware computing and wireless sensor technologies.
This plenary lecture will focus on overviewing the state of the art and presenting new designing methods of WSN to efficiently address the coverage, localization and information fusion issues based on low cost distributed hardware implementations and open source simulators. How well a given area can be monitored by wireless sensor networks is a critical issue whose solution is required for successful deployment of many important applications on such networks. Some new results on coverage mechanisms, and their effectiveness in identifying fully covered sensors, discovering blind holes and reaching reasonable coverage quality will be discussed.. In addition, the layered architectures of such WSN as well as the relevant simulation tools will be compared and analyzed.
Therefore, in this research we explore the nature of a Wireless Sensor Network, and the consequent tasks and restrictions concerning its design, simulation and implementation techniques. We present a framework as a base to evaluate the cutting edge (design and) simulation tools especially regarding the coverage, localization and information fusion issues mentioned previously. Finally, we examine other research fields that impact on design and implementation procedures of Wireless Sensor Networks regarding effective solutions of these issues.
The major goal of this plenary talk will be not only to overview but also, to explore open problems in sensor networks design related to localization, coverage and energy consumption, evaluating several proposed algorithms using model based simulators and emulators, as well as to propose the design of a suitable simulator for evaluating such algorithms extending the capabilities of already existing state of the art open source model based simulators.
More specifically, with regards to implementation concepts, based on this thorough investigation and design, we herein focus on the main sensor network design procedure, simulation. Our goal is to build a simulator able to simulate variable MCUs and mote setups, and actual code, MCU specific assembly language. We use an open standard, XML document, to describe MCU and mote features. The core of the simulator is the MCU emulator, able to emulate different MCUs and mote setups during simulation, providing an accurate energy consumption metric. Emulating the entire code running on MCU, is by default a cross layer simulation of the application, and the protocol stack. Works done so far, have proved the importance of emulation and time accuracy.
The MCU emulation engine is based on the fact that every instruction in the MCU’s instruction set, actually modifies the contents of a type of memory (registers, special function registers, flags, ports etc) according to a set of Boolean or numeric functions. These functions are described as data in the XML file, and the emulation engine parses these functions and stores changes (results) in virtual MCU memory accordingly. As a result we have the ability to use the same code to emulate any MCU instruction set, during the same simulation procedure, as long as its functionality is described with Boolean or numeric functions in XML format. Works using XML format describe MCU or processor details such as mnemonics, opcodes but not functionality. In concluding this talk, after elaboration of the above issues and overview, we will be able to support the feasibility of the whole WSN design.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Dimitrios A. Karras received his Diploma and M.Sc. Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in 1985 and the Ph. Degree in Electrical Engineering, from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in 1995, with honours. From 1990 and up to 2004 he has collaborated as visiting professor and researcher with several universities and research institutes in Greece. Since 2004, after his election, he has been with the Chalkis Institute of Technology, Automation Dept., Greece as associate professor in Digital Systems and Signal Processing as well as with the Hellenic Open University, Dept. Informatics as a visiting professor in Communication Systems (since 2002 and up to 2010). He has published more than 55 research refereed journal papers in various areas of pattern recognition, image/signal processing and neural networks as well as in bioinformatics and telecommunications and more than 155 research papers in International refereed scientific Conferences. His research interests span the fields of pattern recognition and neural networks, image and signal processing, image and signal systems, biomedical systems, communications, networking and security. He has served as program committee member in many international conferences, as well as program chair and general chair in several international workshops and conferences in the fields of signal, image and automation systems. He is, also, editor in chief of the International Journal in Signal and Imaging Systems Engineering (IJSISE), topics editor in chief of the International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications (JDCTA) as well as associate editor in various scientific journals. He has been cited in more than 500 research papers, his h-index is 10 and his Erdos number is 5.