|InterJournal Complex Systems, 567
|Manuscript Number: |
Submission Date: 20531
|Intelligent Broadcast for Large-Scale Sensor Networks|
Category: Brief Article
With advances in miniaturization, wireless communication, and the theory of self-organizing systems, it has become possible to consider scenarios where a very large number of networkable sensors are deployed randomly over an extended environment and organize themselves into a network. Such networks --- which we term large-scale sensor networks (LSSN's) --- can be useful in many situations, including military surveillance, environmental monitoring, disaster relief, etc. The idea is that, by deploying an LSSN, an extended environment can be rendered observable for an external user (e.g., a monitoring station) or for users within the system (e.g., persons walking around with palm-sized devices). Unlike custom-designed networks, these randomly deployed networks need no pre-design and configure themselves through a process of self-organization. The sensor nodes themselves are typically anonymous, and information is addressed by location or attribute rather than by node ID. This approach provides several advantages, including: 1) Scalability; 2) Robustness; 3) Flexibility; 4) Expandability; and 5) Versatility. Indeed, this abstraction is implicit in such ideas as smart paint, smart dust, and smart matter. The purpose of our research is to explore how a system comprising a very large number of randomly distributed nodes can organize itself to communicate information between designated geographical locations. To keep the system realistic, we assume that each node has only limited reliability, energy resources, wireless communication capabilities, and computational capacity. Thus, direct long-range communication between nodes is not possible, and most messaging involves a large number of "hops" between neighboring nodes. In particular, we are interested in obtaining reliable communication at the system level from simple, unreliable nodes.
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