Talk by Prof. Gian Pietro Picco, Wednesday, Mai 14, 3pm in A102 on 14.05.2014 at 15:00h - Are Those Trees Messing with My Wireless Sensor Network?


Are Those Trees Messing with My Wireless Sensor Network? 


It is well-known that environmental conditions affect the low-power wireless communication exploited by wireless sensor networks (WSN). Nevertheless, studies that quantitatively determine the extent to which this occurs in a real-world outdoor environment are generally lacking. Unfortunately, this information is often relevant not only to design the WSN, but also to interpret the data it gathers. For instance, in a wildlife monitoring application we are deploying, the distance among animals whose proximity is inferred from mutual beacon exchanges depends on the environment where the contact is detected. In this talk we report about experimental campaigns in three outdoor environments characterized by varying degrees of vegetation: an open field, an evergreen forest, and a deciduous one. The experiments are carried out with our Trident tool, expressly designed to support in-field assessment of connectivity. Experiments are repeated in summer and winter, to account for seasonal variations, and span multiple days, allowing us to assess variations induced by the succession of day and night. Our experiments focus primarily on characterizing the impact of the environment on the physical layer; however, we also investigate how this is mirrored at higher layers, including the aforementioned application concerning proximity detection among animals.  We argue that this type of study may inspire new methods to better estimate the performance of a WSN in its target deployment environment.


Gian Pietro Picco is a Professor and Head of the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science (DISI) at the University of Trento, Italy. The goal of his current research is to ease the development of modern distributed systems through the design and implementation of appropriate programming abstractions and of communication protocols efficiently supporting them. His work spans the research fields of software engineering, middleware, and networking, and is oriented in particular towards wireless sensor networks, mobile computing, and large-scale distributed systems. In 2007, at the Int. Conf. on Software Engineering (ICSE'07) he was the recipient of the "Most Influential Paper from ICSE'97" Award. Other awards include Best Paper Awards at the IPSN conference in 2009 and 2011, and the Mark Weiser Best Paper Award at PerCom in 2012.  He is a member of the editorial board of ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks (TOSN) and IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE).