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Title: Wireless sensor networks using network coding for structural health monitoring
Author: Skulic, Jelena
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 0404
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2014
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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have been deployed for the purpose of structural health monitoring (SHM) of civil engineering structures, e.g. bridges. SHM applications can potentially produce a high volume of sensing data, which consumes much transmission power and thus decreases the lifetime of the battery-run networks. We employ the network coding technique to improve the network efficiency and prolong its lifetime. By increasing the transmission power, we change the node connectivity and control the number of nodes that can overhear transmitted messages so as to hopefully realize the capacity gain by use of network coding. In Chapter 1, we present the background, to enable the reader to understand the need for SHM, advantages and drawbacks of WSNs and potential the application of network coding techniques has. In Chapter 2 we provide a review of related research explaining how it relates to our work, and why it is not fully applicable in our case. In Chapter 3, we propose to control transmission power as a means to adjust the number of nodes that can overhear a message transmission by a neighbouring node. However, too much of the overhearing by high power transmission consumes aggressively limited battery energy. We investigate the interplay between transmission power and network coding operations in Chapter 4. We show that our solution reduces the overall volume of data transfer, thus leading to significant energy savings and prolonged network lifetime. We present the mathematical analysis of our proposed algorithm. By simulation, we also study the trade-offs between overhearing and power consumption for the network coding scheme. In Chapter 5, we propose a methodology for the optimal placement of sensor nodes in linear network topologies (e.g., along the length of a bridge), that aims to minimise the link connectivity problems and maximise the lifetime of the network. Both simple packet relay and network coding are considered for the routing of the collected data packets towards two sink nodes positioned at both ends of the bridge. Our mathematical analysis, verified by simulation results, shows that the proposed methodology can lead to significant energy saving and prolong the lifetime of the underlying wireless sensor network. Chapter 6 is dedicated to the delay analysis. We analytically calculate the gains in terms of packet delay obtained by the use of network coding in linear multi-hop wireless sensor network topologies. Moreover, we calculate the exact packet delay (from the packet generation time to the time it is delivered to the sink nodes) as a function of the location of the source sensor node within the linear network. The derived packet delay distribution formulas have been verified by simulations and can provide a benchmark for the delay performance of linear sensor networks. In the Chapter 7, we propose an adaptive version of network coding based algorithm. In the case of packet loss, nodes do not necessary retransmit messages as they are able to internally decide how to cope with the situation. The goal of this algorithm is to reduce the power consumption, and decrease delays whenever it can. This algorithm achieves the delay similar to that of three-hop direct-connectivity version of the deterministic algorithm, and consumes power almost like one-hop direct-connectivity version of deterministic algorithm. In very poor channel conditions, this protocol outperforms the deterministic algorithm both in terms of delay and power consumption. In Chapter 8, we explain the direction of our future work. Particularly, we are interested in the application of combined TDMA/FDMA technique to our algorithm.
Supervisor: Leung, Kin Sponsor: European Union
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral