Due to the potentiality of
applications, sensor networks became the centre of extensive research the
last two years. Environment monitoring, target tracking, home automation
applications are some examples of utilization of sensor networks. The
possibilities of deployment of sensor networks in heterogeneous environments
and the diversity of application requirements necessitate to provide sensor
nodes with self-configurable capabilities. The ideal case would be to define
mechanisms which could suit any situation, any application without the need
of any human intervention in the process of configuration or
reconfiguration. The only task of the user should be to deploy the sensor
nodes. The way packets are forwarded through the network should be
transparent to the user. Node failure or node mobility should not have any
impact on the performance of the network and should not affect the accuracy
of the information received.
Even if some similarities can
defined between ad hoc networks and sensor networks, the expectations of
sensor networks in terms of reliability, lifetime and energy constraints
differ significantly from those of ad hoc networks. The adaptation of
routing and MAC protocols previously developed for ad hoc networks does not
fulfill the specific requirements of sensor networks. In this project, we
intend to develop self-configuration mechanisms adapted to sensor networks.
By exploring the different aspects of self-configuration in sensor networks,
we expect to outline problems not already addressed in the literature and
investigate some possible solutions.
Self-configuration in sensor networks can
take several aspects:
Deployment: besides random
deployment, we will explore the different ways to modify the topology of
the network in order to optimize the coverage of the network and the data
transmission in terms of energy consumption.
Data gathering: we develop
new protocols to handle the dynamic nature of sensor networks with a
special focus on applications with mobile sources.
Routing protocols: we will
explore the possibilities to improve the transmission of data to the
destination station in order to enhance the performance of the network in
terms of energy consumption.
We will explore the different
ways to optimize the roles of the sensor nodes in the network in order to
maximize the overall lifetime of the network.
We will explore the
possibilities to determine the localization of sensor nodes without the use
(or with minimal use) of GPS beacon nodes.
Self-healing is a concept difficult to separate from sensor networks. The
high level of node failures makes mandatory the implementation of recovery
process to deal with the problem of link failure which could prevent the
normal transmission of the data to the destination station and have dramatic
impact for the user.