Hazard Avoidance in Wireless Sensor and Actor Networks

Ramanuja Vedantham, Zhenyun Zhuang and Raghupathy Sivakumar
GNAN Research Group
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

BROADNETS 2005, Boston, MA, USA, October 3-7, 2005


A typical wireless sensor network performs only one action: sensing the environment. The requirement for intelligent interaction with the environment has led to the emergence of Wireless Sensor and Actor Networks (WSANs). In WSANs, the sensors monitor the environment based on which the sink issues commands to the actors to act on the environment.

In order to provide tight coupling between sensing and acting, an effective coordination mechanism is required among sensors and actors. In this context, we identify the problem of "hazards", which is the out-of-order execution of queries and commands due to a lack of coordination between sensors and actors. We identify three types of hazards and show with an example application, the undesirable consequences of these hazards. In this context, we discuss the basic design needed to address this problem efficiently. We propose a distributed and fully localized hazard-free approach that addresses the problem based on the design. Through simulations we study the performance of the proposed solution and two basic strategies, and show that the proposed solution is efficient for a variety of network conditions.

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