Communication and Coordination in Wireless Multimedia Sensor and Actor Networks
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Wireless Sensor and Actor Networks (WSANs) are distributed systems of heterogeneous devices, referred to as sensors and actors, which sense, control, and interact with the physical environment. Sensors are low-cost, low-power, multi-functional devices that communicate untethered in short distances. Actors are resource-rich devices that collect and process sensor data and consequently perform actions on the environment. This thesis is concerned with coordination and communication problems in WSANs, in datacentric and multimedia application scenarios. First, communication and coordination problems are jointly addressed in a unifying framework for the case of static actors. A sensor-actor coordination model is proposed, based on an event-driven partitioning paradigm. Sensors are partitioned into different sets and each set is associated with a different actor. Data delivery trees are created to optimally react to the event and timely deliver event data with minimum energy expenditure. The optimal partitioning strategy is determined bymathematical programming, and a distributed solution is also proposed. Furthermore, the actor-actor coordination problem is formulated as an optimal task assignment problem, and a distributed solution of the problem based on an analogy with a one-shot auction is presented. Application scenarios for WSANs with mobile actors are then studied. A location management scheme is introduced to handle the mobility of actors with minimal energy consumption for resource-constrained sensors. The proposed scheme, which is the first localization scheme specifically designed for WSANs, is shown to consistently reduce the energy consumption with respect to existing localization services for ad hoc and sensor networks. An optimal energy-aware forwarding rule is then derived for sensor-actor communication in fast varying Rayleigh channels. The proposed scheme allows controlling the delay of the data-delivery process based on power control, and reacts to network congestion by diverting traffic from congested to lightly-loaded actors. The mobility of actors is coordinated to optimally accomplish application-specific tasks, based on a nonlinear optimization model that accounts for location and capabilities of heterogeneous actors. The research challenges for delivery of multimedia traffic in wireless sensor and actor networks are then outlined. Finally, a cross-layer communication architecture based on Ultra Wide Band communications is described, whose design objective is to reliably and flexibly deliver QoS to multimedia applications in WSANs, by carefully leveraging and controlling interactions among layers according to application requirements. Performance evaluation shows how the proposed solution achieves the performance objectives of wireless sensor and actor networks.