Specifying and Verifying Sensor Networks: An Experiment of Formal Methods

  • Jin Song Dong
  • Jing Sun
  • Jun Sun
  • Kenji Taguchi
  • Xian Zhang
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5256)


With the development of sensor technology and electronic miniaturization, wireless sensor networks have shown a wide range of promising applications as well as challenges. Early stage sensor network analysis is critical, which allows us to reveal design errors before sensor deployment. Due to their distinguishable features, system specification and verification of sensor networks are highly non-trivial tasks. On the other hand, numerous formal theories and analysis tools have been developed in formal methods community, which may offer a systematic method for formal analysis of sensor networks. This paper presents our attempt on applying formal methods to sensor network specification/verification. An integrated notation named Active Sensor Processes is proposed for high-level specification. Next, we experiment formal verification techniques to reveal design flaws in sensor network applications.


Sensor Network Sensor Node Wireless Sensor Network Network Topology Model Check 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Akyildiz, I.F., Su, W., Sankarasubramaniam, Y., Cayirci, E.: Wireless Sensor Networks: a Survey. Computer Networks 38(4), 393–422 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bose, P., Morin, P., Stojmenovic, I., Urrutia, J.: Routing with Guaranteed Delivery in Ad Hoc Wireless Networks. Wireless Networks 7(6), 609–616 (2001)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Botts, M.: Sensor Model Language (SensorML) (2006),
  4. 4.
    Boulis, A., Han, C.C., Srivastava, M.B.: Design and Implementation of a Framework for Efficient and Programmable Sensor Networks. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applictions, and Services (MobiSys 2003) (2003)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cardelli, L., Gordon, A.D.: Mobile Ambients. Theoretical Computer Science 240(1), 177–213 (2000)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cardelli, L., Gordon, A.D.: Mobile ambients. In: Nivat, M. (ed.) FOSSACS 1998. LNCS, vol. 1378. Springer, Heidelberg (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chen, C., Dong, J.S., Sun, J.: A verification system for timed interval calculus. In: Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2008), pp. 271–280. ACM Press, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ciancio, A.G., Pattem, S., Ortega, A., Krishnamachari, B.: Energy-efficient Data Representation and Routing for Wireless Sensor Networks based on a Distributed Wavelet Compression Algorithm. In: Proceedings of Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN 2006), pp. 309–316 (2006)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cimatti, A., Clarke, E.M., Giunchiglia, E., Giunchiglia, F., Pistore, M., Roveri, M., Sebastiani, R., Tacchella, A.: NuSMV 2: An OpenSource Tool for Symbolic Model Checking. In: Brinksma, E., Larsen, K.G. (eds.) CAV 2002. LNCS, vol. 2404, pp. 359–364. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dong, J.S., Hao, P., Qin, S.C., Sun, J., Wang, Y.: Timed Patterns: TCOZ to Timed Automata. In: Davies, J., Schulte, W., Barnett, M. (eds.) ICFEM 2004. LNCS, vol. 3308, pp. 483–498. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dong, J.S., Hao, P., Sun, J., Zhang, X.: A Reasoning Method for Timed CSP Based on Constraint Solving. In: Liu, Z., He, J. (eds.) ICFEM 2006. LNCS, vol. 4260, pp. 342–359. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Estrin, D., Govindan, R., Heidemann, J., Kumar, S.: Next Century Challenges: Scalable Coordination in Sensor Networks. In: Proceedings of ACM/IEEE International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom 1999), pp. 263–270 (1999)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Frey, H., Stojmenovic, I.: On Delivery Guarantees of Face and Combined Greedy-face Routing in Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks. In: Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MOBICOM 2006), pp. 390–401 (2006)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gay, D., Levis, P., von Behren, J.R., Welsh, M., Brewer, E.A., Culler, D.E.: The nesC Language: A Holistic Approach to Networked Embedded Systems. In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN 2003 Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation 2003 (PLDI 2003), pp. 1–11. ACM Press, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Goel, A., Meng, S., Roychoudhury, A., Thiagarajan, P.S.: Interacting process classes. In: Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2006), pp. 302–311. ACM Press, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hoare, C.A.R.: Communicating Sequential Processes. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs (1985)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Intanagonwiwat, C., Govindan, R., Estrin, D.: Directed Diffusion: a Scalable and Robust Communication Paradigm for Sensor Networks. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MOBICOM 2000), pp. 56–67 (2000)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lamport, L.: Real-Time Model Checking Is Really Simple. In: Borrione, D., Paul, W. (eds.) CHARME 2005. LNCS, vol. 3725, pp. 162–175. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Larsen, K.G., Pettersson, P., Wang, Y.: Uppaal in a Nutshell. International Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer 1(1-2), 134–152 (1997)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Levis, P., Culler, D.E.: Maté: a Tiny Virtual Machine for Sensor Networks. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS 2002), pp. 85–95 (2002)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Levis, P., Patel, N., Culler, D.E., Shenker, S.: Trickle: A Self-Regulating Algorithm for Code Propagation and Maintenance in Wireless Sensor Networks. In: Proceedings of Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 2004), pp. 15–28 (2004)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Madden, S., Franklin, M.J., Hellerstein, J.M., Hong, W.: TinyDB: an Acquisitional Query Processing System for Sensor Networks. ACM Transactions on Database Systems 30(1), 122–173 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mahony, B., Dong, J.S.: Timed Communicating Object Z. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 26(2) (February 2000)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mezzetti, N., Sangiorgi, D.: Towards a Calculus For Wireless Systems. Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science 158, 331–353 (2006)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Prasad, K.V.S.: A Calculus of Broadcasting Systems. In: Abramsky, S. (ed.) TAPSOFT 1991. LNCS, vol. 493, pp. 338–358. Springer, Heidelberg (1991)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Schneider, S.: An Operational Semantics for Timed CSP. Information and Computation 116(2), 193–213 (1995)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Schneider, S., Davies, J., Jackson, D.M., Reed, G.M., Reed, J.N., Roscoe, A.W.: Timed CSP: Theory and practice. Real-Time: Theory in Practice 600, 640–675 (1992)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sun, J., Dong, J.S.: Design Synthesis from Interaction and State-Based Specifications. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 32(6) (2006)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Sun, J., Liu, Y., Dong, J.S., Sun, J.: Bounded Model Checking of Compositional Processes. In: Proceedings of the Second IEEE International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Software Engineering, pp. 23–30. IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos (2008)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Thomsen, B.: Calculi for Higher Order Communicating Systems. PhD thesis (1990)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tschirner, S., Xuedong, L., Yi, W.: Model-Based Validation of QoS Properties of Biomedical Sensor Networks. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Embedded Software (EMSOFT 2008) (accepted, 2008)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    von Eicken, T., Culler, D.E., Goldstein, S.C., Schauser, K.E.: Active Messages: A Mechanism for Integrated Communication and Computation. In: Proceedings of International Symposium on Computer Architecture 1992 (ISCA 1992), pp. 256–266 (1992)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin Song Dong
    • 1
  • Jing Sun
    • 2
  • Jun Sun
    • 1
  • Kenji Taguchi
    • 3
  • Xian Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ComputingNational University of SingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceThe University of AucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Information Systems Architecture Research Division, Grace CenterNational Institute of InformaticsJapan

Personalised recommendations