Uncertainty-based information extraction in wireless sensor networks for control applications

Bartlomiej Placzek, Marcin Bernas

Design of control applications over wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is a challenging issue due to the bandwidth-limited communication medium, energy constraints and real-time data delivery requirements. This paper introduces a new information extraction method for WSN-based control applications, which reduces the number of required data transmissions to save energy and avoid data congestion. According to the proposed approach, control applications recognize when new data readings have to be collected and determine sensor nodes that have to be activated on the basis of uncertainty analysis. Processing of the selectively collected input data is based on definition of information granules that describe state of the controlled system as well as performance of particular control decisions. This method was implemented for object tracking in WSNs. The task is to control movement of a mobile sink, which has to reach a target in the shortest possible time. Extensive simulation experiments were performed to compare performance of the proposed approach against state-of-the-art methods. Results of the experiments show that the presented information extraction method allows for substantial reduction in the amount of transmitted data with no significant negative effect on tracking performance.

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