Unleashing the Power of Wireless Networks Through Information Sharing in the Sensor Internet

  • Karl Aberer
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3868)


We provide in this presentation in a first part an overview of the research activities of the Swiss National Competence Centre in Research for Mobile Information and Communication Systems (NCCR-MICS) in the area of self-organizing, wireless networks. In the second part we present specific MICS research results from our research group on managing information generated in such networks using self-organizing, logical overlay networks.

Recent advances in wireless communication enable the embedding of sensing and actuation technology into our physical environment at an unprecedented large scale and fine granularity. We show exemplary recent theoretical advances and systems developments on self-organizing, wireless sensor networks and mobile ad-hoc networks achieved in MICS. They provide evidence for the comprehensive scope and high degree of interdisciplinarity required in this area of research. We illustrate the deployment of the resulting technologies in real-world applications. An application class we focus in MICS in particular concerns the monitoring of various typical physical phenomena in the Swiss environment, such as watershed, permafrost, and avalanches.

In the long term, the increasing deployment and application of wireless networks beyond specialized, isolated applications will lead to the production of massive amounts of sensor data requiring further processing support and proper interpretation of data. We argue that self-organizing, logical overlay networks for resource and information sharing will play an important role for achieving this task. Structured overlay networks will be used to support scalable processing of data streams. Semantic overlay networks will be used to overcome heterogeneity in information representation. Finally, social overlay networks will be used to form agreements on meaning and utility of data. We illustrate these developments from our ongoing research: Global Sensor Network, a lightweight implementation of an overlay network for sensor data stream sharing, PicShark, a peer-to-peer image sharing system with support for automated generation and sharing of image annotations, and Semantic Gossiping, a social mechanism based on belief propagation to reconcile heterogeneous annotation schemes.

As a result of these developments, we envision the Internet to develop into a Sensor Internet in which physical reality, information technology and human activity become increasingly intertwined into one common complex system for better understanding and more easily mastering the environment we live in.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Aberer
    • 1
  1. 1.National Competence Centre in Research for Mobile Information and Communication Systems (NCCR-MICS)School of Computer and Communication Sciences, EPFLSwitzerland

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