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Archive for July, 2008

CFP: Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments

Ambient Intelligence (AmI) technology holds great promise in permeating everyday life by changing the nature of almost every human activity. Research in the past few years has indicated that the realization of AmI vision requires the development of systems that integrate sensing, computing and networking with advanced techniques for data and knowledge representation and management. AmI systems derive their power from the vast number of interactions among a large number of heterogeneous components with versatile properties and capabilities. Nevertheless, if this technology is to be accepted, intuitive and efficient human-system interaction must be provided.

The complexity of AmI applications that results from their dynamic and distributed nature and the need to provide a safe and controllable environment for people constitutes an opportunity for the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) research. In order to achieve the AmI concept, researchers and developers must employ modern, highly effective AI techniques. In the aims of AI, research envisages to include more intelligence in AmI environments, allowing for better support to human occupants and access to the essential knowledge to make better decisions when interacting with these environments.

More info here

Active RFID and Sensor Networks Report

This IDTechEx report comprehensively analyzes the technologies, players and markets with detailed ten year forecasts, including tag numbers, unit prices and interrogator numbers and prices. Details of over 75 active RFID implementations are given along with over 100 suppliers and full technology analysis – from printed batteries to Wi-Fi RFID to UWB tags. We have constructed ten year forecasts usefully segmented by frequency, application, territory, etc, and illustrated by dozens of tables and figures.
The active RFID market will grow to over 11 times its present size by 2018, so whether a user or supplier, you need to keep up with this under-reported subject or get left behind.
more info here

IETF-72 – Dublin July 2008

The 72nd IETF meeting is now in progress in the Dublin area and is gathering something like 1200 people. Interesting to sensor networks are the 6LowPan and ROLL Working Group Meetings. These working groups address routing standardisation processes of the so-called mesh under (6LowPan) and routing over (ROLL). 6LowPan is an effort to standardise the translation of IPV6 packets so to meet sensor network requirements. ROLL aims provide an architectural framework for routing and path selection at
Layer 3. The final scope is to enable interoperability between vendors.

For more information about the IETF agenda, ROLL and 6LowPan docs, click here

Protothreads and C++

Ben Hoyt has implemented Protothreads as a C++ class that is easy to use. He has a written a piece on protothreads in C++. From the post: “What protothreads give you is the ability to write procedural, thread-style code, but without the overhead of real threads. The kind of thing embedded programmers normally use switch state machines for.” Take a look at the examples of Protothreads in C++ here.

WirelessHART is coming…

WirelessHART is the first open wireless communication standard specifically designed for process measurement and control applications. Its specs were ratified last September 2007 and, despite lengthy certification process, compatible devices are expected to be in the market this year.

Here is a podcast with Joy Weiss CTO Dust Networks, interviewed by Control Engineering editor Peter Welander, about their leading role in technology that drives wireless instrumentation.

Listen/download (~8mb/17min)

More about the standard in this whitepaper from the HART Communication Foundation.

The longest running sensor network @ CSIRO

The longest running sensor network was a “significant first step” in being able to record environmental conditions across extremely large and challenging environments, CSIRO scientist Tim Wark said. The network, based at the Brisbane ICT Centre, can measure variables such as temperature, soil moisture, water quality, humidity and solar energy levels.

The sensors, called “flecks”, were developed by the CSIRO and run on a combination of solar and battery power. Each sensor node sends collected information back to a central database to be recorded and analysed. The data is transferred via the flecks themselves, which form an ad-hoc network. “Power is the biggest issue,” said Dr Wark, the project leader for wireless sensor networks at the CSIRO ICT Centre. “The flecks send and receive data through radio and that consumes a lot of power. We designed them to stay asleep most of the time, and wake up only to take measurements or send and receive data.”

More info here

Release of b6loWPAN Stack

The Berkeley wireless sensor network group has made its 6lowpan implementation publicly available in tinyos-2.x-contrib/berkeley/b6lowpan. It adds IPv6 support to TinyOS, and supports address stateless autoconfiguration, multihop routing, and fragmentation for an MTU of 1280 bytes, among other things. Standard internet tools like ping6, nc6, and tracert6 can be used to debug installations using b6lowpan, and applications may use UDP as the transport layer.

More info here.

Open research positions at CISTER/IPP-HURRAY Research Unit

The CISTER/IPP-HURRAY Research Unit ( invites applications for Research Scientist positions to develop research in the area of Real-Time and Embedded Computing Systems. This/These research positions will correspond to a 5-years research contract.

Area: Real-Time and Embedded Computing Systems
Application Deadline: 10, Sep, 2008
Send Application To:
Contact Person: Eduardo Tovar
Salary: at least 45000 EUR / year (before taxes)
Duration: 5-years research contract
Requirements: PhD in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering or related fields, with particular expertise in real-time computing systems or embedded systems. The candidates should also have had at least 3 years of post-doctoral experience (although this can be relaxed in some very specific cases) with an international-level publication record and demonstrated ability to do independent research. Fluency in written and spoken English is required.

Prof. Tarek Abdelzaher; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Prof. Sanjoy Baruah, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
Prof. Alan Burns, University of York, UK
Prof. Luis Miguel Pinho, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal
Prof. Raj Rajkumar, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Prof. Eduardo Tovar, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal

Further information is available at:


Release of MAC Layer Architecture for TinyOS 2.0.2

Washington University’s Wireless Sensor Network group has released a version of the MAC Layer Architecture (MLA) for TinyOS 2.0.2. MLA defines a component-based architecture for MAC protocols in wireless sensor networks. MLA consists of hardware-independent interfaces required by timing sensitive MAC protocols, and platform-independent reusable components that implement MAC layer logic on top of them. The MLA architecture can be used to develop a large number of platform-independent MAC implementations, with little or no further effort required to adapt these implementations to new hardware platforms.

More info here.

Call For papers: Special Issue on "Data Quality Management in Wireless Sensor Networks"

As new fabrication and integration technologies reduce the cost and size of wireless sensors, the observation and control of our physical world will expand dramatically using the temporally and spatially dense monitoring afforded by wireless sensor networks technology. Several applications such as habitat monitoring, counter-sniper system, environment sampling, and structure monitoring, have been launched, showing the promising future of wide range of applications of networked sensor systems.

Their success is nonetheless determined by whether the sensor networks can provide a high quality stream of data over a long period. The inherent feature of unattended and untethered deployment of networked sensors in a malicious environment, however, imposes challenges to the underlying systems. These challenges are further complicated by the fact that sensor systems are usually seriously energy-constrained. Most previous efforts focus on devising techniques to save the sensor node energy and thus extend the lifetime of the whole sensor network. However, with more deployments of real sensor systems, in which the main function is to collect interesting data and to share with peers, data quality has been becoming a more important issue in the design of sensor systems. Consistency, accuracy, reliability, and survivability concerns have to be addressed in sensor data collection, storage, and processing.

The goal of the special issue is to publish the most recent results in the data quality management aspects of wireless sensor networks research. Researchers and practitioners working in this area are expected to take this opportunity to discuss and express their views on the current trends, challenges, and state of the art solutions addressing various issues in sensor networks.

The full call for papers is here.


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