WelcomeGeneral InfoProgramTutorialsAbstractsAuthors/AwardsExhibitionRegistrationAbout HawaiiContact

Wireless Networked Sensing

Fiber Optic Sensor Technology

Analog Portable Sensors

Phosphor-Based Sensors

Energy Scavenging Storage

Neutron Imaging Sensors

Transducers Testing by Optical

Optical Fibre Nanowire Sensors

Tutorial 1a

Elena Gaura, Coventry University, UK
James P. Brusey, Coventry University, UK

The speakers promote the adoption of a deployment based, experiential research approach as key to the successful development of new wireless sensing applications. The tutorial brings a practical outlook into the Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) domain and aims to bridge, through a comprehensive discussion on design and deployment problems and essentials the achievements and needs of two communities:
  • the academic research community striving to develop the systems of tomorrow and

  • the commercial WSNs community working towards wider adoption of this exciting technology.
Whilst producing a better match between the academic "offerings" and the industrial "need" is key to faster developments in the field, the potential killer applications on the horizon certainly drive the domain forward. It is clear that, as with many emerging technologies, political shifts will drive WSN innovation, economic growth affects WSN penetration, and regulatory influences strongly affect markets.

In this context, an understanding of the design space, good design practice, rapid prototyping, efficient use of COTS and successful deployments are a must for the WSN researcher in this rapidly advancing research arena.

Tutorial Description:

Since the late 1990's, the potential of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) to revolutionise our understanding of and interaction with the environment has captured the imagination and enthusiasm of both academia and industry. Experimental applications have been proposed to address virtually every aspect of society from scientific research and compliance verification to health care and industrial monitoring. These applications have provided motivation for the development of WSN systems and theory, leading to an exciting period of research, with many theoretical achievements and much promise. However, while many of these applications have been explored through proofs of concept, few have passed successfully into the commercial domain. The difficulty in making this transition comes from several sources. While some of these are technical challenges in the computer science and engineering domains, there are also many challenges for which computer science researchers are less well-prepared, such as managing deployment logistics and a deep understanding of the needs and problems of unrelated disciplines. Unfortunately, these non-CS challenges are equally critical impediments to defining, developing, deploying and commercializing WSN applications.

The tutorial is intended to provide a comprehensive discussion of design and deployment problems and provide some guidance for future development. Lessons are drawn from the challenges encountered by the most impressive deployments of this decade and offered to the attendees in a structured manner, following a proposed "design for deployment" process. Key design parameters, views on the wide and challenging design space for WSNs, the role of prototyping and iteration will form the basis for the discussion.

This present state of the art in the WSN domain presents both challenges and opportunities. The opportunities are clear: there is great political drive to implement systems to address society's pressing needs. At the same time the challenges must not be underestimated. Successfully deploying environmental or cyber-physical applications, for example, will require understanding and solving complex, cross-disciplinary problems, in addition to the problems that arise in the computer science and engineering domain. The logistical difficulties of deploying and testing these systems under realistic conditions need careful consideration: prototype deployments are generally required to work out many the aspects of the systems that can not be addressed in simulation; these deployments will require another set of tools to aid in deployment, eg. methods of visualizing the state of the running system with constrained network access, software update processes to support rapid iteration, etc. Many of the parameters of such systems will also need to be tuned and validated based on data that must ultimately be collected from fielded nodes. Fortunately, researchers can be aided in this effort by studying the prior experience and practice in prosecuting WSN deployments.

The tutorial will document the experiences of some successful WSN deployments through case studies, and refine that knowledge into guidance for those striving to resolve real-life applications using wireless sensing. We feel, as domain practitioners, that it is essential to reflect upon and understand the challenges that have been faced thus far in the advancement towards the vision of pervasive and ubiquitous wireless sensors. Although we have come some way, long and strenuous development cycles are still needed to deliver production-ready WSN systems that meet real needs. The speakers hope that the tutorial will ease the development effort for both new applications and new practitioners.

Note: The tutorial draws on the recent Springer book (to appear in August 2010), titled:
Gaura, E (2), Girod, L.(1) Brusey, J. (2) Allen M.(1), Geoffrey Werner Challen(3)
(1) Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, USA
(2) Coventry University, UK
(3) Harvard University, USA


Prof. Elena Gaura
Professor of Pervasive Computing
Director of Cogent Computing Applied Research Centre
Faculty of Engineering and Computing
Coventry University, UK

Elena Gaura received her BSc and MSc in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Cluj Napoca, Romania in 1989 and 1991, respectively, and her PhD from Coventry University, UK, in 2000. By the time her PhD was awarded, she was serving as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Coventry University. She was further appointed as inaugural Director of the Coventry University's Cogent Computing Applied Research Centre in 2006, position she continues to hold. She was awarded a chair in Pervasive Computing by Coventry University in 2009. Over the course of her career, Elena has accrued a sturdy academic reputation in the area of smart sensing systems in general and wireless sensor networks (WSNs) in particular. She is an active disseminator of research both to the academic community and the industry, and is a frequent organiser of Networked Sensing events. Elena is a member of several sensing and microsystems advisory bodies, including the EPSRC College of Peers, UK, and chair of the UK Wireless Intelligent Sensing Interest Group (WiSIG). Presently her research is with the development of deployable Wireless Sensor Networks for real-life applications with a focus on system design and integration, closed loop actuation and integration of decision engines within poorly resourced WSN systems. Whilst driving towards the ultimate aim of designing autonomous systems capable of large scale field sensing, her research work is heavily biased towards resolving well specified industrial problems using WSNs.

Dr. James P. Brusey
Senior Lecturer in Systems Engineering
Senior Research Fellow of Cogent Computing Applied Research Centre
Faculty of Engineering and Computing
Coventry University, UK

James Brusey is a Senior Research Fellow at the Cogent Computing Applied Research Centre at Coventry University. He received a BSc degree in Computer Science and a PhD from RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia) in 1996, and 2003, respectively. His PhD thesis entitled Learning Behaviours for Robot Soccer won the Australian Computer Science Association Award for best PhD thesis in 2004. Prior to coming to Coventry, he spent four years as a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Manufacturing, a division of the Cambridge University, UK, Engineering Department. Funding during this period included EU Framework 6 project, Cambridge-MIT Institute funding, and funding from the Auto-ID Centre. His current research interests include: Bayesian approaches to state estimation for Wireless Sensor Networks, middleware and design patterns for WSNs, and sensor node placement optimisation.

Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved, Sensors 2010 and interteq.com