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Title: Distributed spatial analysis in wireless sensor networks
Author: Jabeen, Farhana
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 7288
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) allow us to instrument the physical world in novel ways, providing detailed insight that has not been possible hitherto. Since WSNs provide an interface to the physical world, each sensor node has a location in physical space, thereby enabling us to associate spatial properties with data. Since WSNs can perform periodic sensing tasks, we can also associate temporal markers with data. In the environmental sciences, in particular, WSNs are on the way to becoming an important tool for the modelling of spatially and temporally extended physical phenomena. However, support for high-level and expressive spatial-analytic tasks that can be executed inside WSNs is still incipient. By spatial analysis we mean the ability to explore relationships between spatially-referenced entities (e.g., a vineyard, or a weather front) and to derive representations grounded on such relationships (e.g., the geometrical extent of that part of a vineyard that is covered by mist as the intersection of the geometries that characterize the vineyard and the weather front, respectively). The motivation for this endeavour stems primarily from applications where important decisions hinge on the detection of an event of interest (e.g., the presence, and spatio-temporal progression, of mist over a cultivated field may trigger a particular action) that can be characterized by an event-defining predicate (e.g., humidity greater than 98 and temperature less than 10). At present, in-network spatial analysis in WSN is not catered for by a comprehensive, expressive, well-founded framework. While there has been work on WSN event boundary detection and, in particular, on detecting topological change of WSN-represented spatial entities, this work has tended to be comparatively narrow in scope and aims. The contributions made in this research are constrained to WSNs where every node is tethered to one location in physical space. The research contributions reported here include (a) the definition of a framework for representing geometries; (b) the detailed characterization of an algebra of spatial operators closely inspired, in its scope and structure, by the Schneider-Guting ROSE algebra (i.e., one that is based on a discrete underlying geometry) over the geometries representable by the framework above; (c) distributed in-network algorithms for the operations in the spatial algebra over the representable geometries, thereby enabling (i) new geometries to be derived from induced and asserted ones, and (ii)topological relationships between geometries to be identified; (d) an algorithmic strategy for the evaluation of complex algebraic expressions that is divided into logically-cohesive components; (e) the development of a task processing system that each node is equipped with, thereby with allowing users to evaluate tasks on nodes; and (f) an empirical performance study of the resulting system.
Supervisor: Fernandes, Alvaro Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Wireless sensor network ; Distributed Algorithms ; In-network Processing ; Spatial Analysis ; Distributed Spatial Analysis ; WSN