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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C014820/2
Title: Design, Implementation and Adaptation of Sensor Networks through Multi-dimensional Co-design
Principal Investigator: Marshall, Professor IW
Other Investigators:
Lee, Dr P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) Intelisys Ltd Orange
Department: Lancaster Environment Centre
Organisation: Lancaster University
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 April 2007 Ends: 31 March 2009 Value (£): 223,349
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Mobile Computing Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Information Technologies
Related Grants:
EP/C014774/1 EP/C014782/1 EP/C014847/1 EP/C547357/1
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Sensor networks are becoming increasingly prevalent in large-scale system monitoring; examples of such sensed systems include city pollution (envi-ronmental), communication network quality of service (industrial), and automotive (transportation). The data produced by the deployed sensors is monitored for behavior of the sensed system that is consistent with normal operation; the data can also be used to drive closed-loop control of the sensed system (autonomic management). The sensors can produce large volumes of data; in many contexts, it is essential to save the data for subsequent retrieval.Creating an effective sensing system requires skills from many disparate disciplines; of particular importance is optimal exploitation of synergies avail-able across the hardware/software boundary. Integrated design of such systems must bridge the semantic gaps between these disparate disciplines and deal with the complexities inherent in hostile environments / e.g. high expectation of failure, complex statistics, poorly-understood mechanisms.Sensor-based application systems must address several areas of concern (functionalities) in their design: application, communication network, moni-toring and control, and data management. For wireless sensor networks, the network functionality is further broken down into communication proto-cols and radio capabilities/characteristics.Usually such systems address each of these functionalities orthogonally, with the result that any potential synergies available through co-design are not achieved. Designers are then forced to employ one-off, ad hoc, design changes to customize for scarce resource consumption (e.g. battery power) and critical deployment requirements (e.g. maintainability, reuse of components). It is our assertion that substantial synergy can be achieved through co-design across the multiple dimensions/functionalities, with the result that systems so designed are better able to meet their functional and non-functional requirements.We propose to specify the requirements for a particular sensor system in each of these areas of concern orthogonally, but to then use co-design principles for producing integrated designs and implementations that achieve substantial synergy and better reflect the underlying physical environment of the sensed system. This work will extend the notion of hardware/software co-design into multiple areas of concern through application of existing techniques, such as aspect-oriented design methods.The requirements for a particular sensor system in each of these areas of concern are specified using orthogonal techniques. The system design is then achieved by weaving together the individual components with appropriate hardware/software glue to achieve the requisite integration. This soft-ware/firmware generation phase will be optimized with respect to an appropriate utility function for the desired system. Iterative specification/integration will most likely be required to achieve maximum synergy.The work packages of the project will address: formalization of each area of concern and definition of languages for specifying each area of concern, a processor for weaving these specifications into an optimal co-design meeting the functional and quality requirements of the system, formal verification that the resulting system meets the system requirements, an implementation platform for prototyping sensor systems so designed, and two prototype systems constructed using these techniques.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk