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Managing Sensor Network Resource Usage and Monitoring Active Volcanoes

Date and Time
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Computer Science 402
Geoffrey Challen, from Harvard University
Jennifer Rexford
Sensor networks composed of large numbers of self-organizing embedded devices are an increasingly valuable tool for understanding our world. Deployed networks allow scientists to observe phenomena at a scale and resolution that challenge existing instrumentation. Some call this new instrument the macroscope. My project uses sensor networks to monitor active volcanoes. Due to the high data rates and stringent fidelity requirements of this application, providing output suitable for scientific analysis requires carefully directing the limited resources available at each node. In this talk I will present Lance, a general approach to bandwidth and energy management targeting reliable data collection for sensor networks. By combining an application-level determination of value with a system-level estimation of cost, Lance maximizes the value of the data returned to the application by optimally allocating bandwidth and energy devoted to signal collection. Lance\\'s design decouples data collection policy from mechanism, allowing its optimization metrics to be customized to suit a variety of application goals. I will motivate and describe the Lance architecture, present results from the lab and the field, and discuss continuing efforts in this area, including single-node and network-wide architectures for distributed energy management.

Bio: Geoffrey Challen (ne Werner-Allen) is a Ph.D. Candidate in Computer Science at the Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, advised by Matt Welsh. His research addresses the systems and networking challenges necessary to enable high-fidelity sensing applications, focusing specifically on maximizing the usage of the limited resources available to sensor network nodes. Working with geoscientists, he has helped perform three sensor network deployments on active Ecuadorean volcanoes. He built and maintains MoteLab, a wireless sensor network testbed used by researchers worldwide, and is a co-editor of a forthcoming book on sensor network deployments. Geoffrey is a 2009 Siebel Fellow, and a Resident Tutor at Eliot House.

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