Special Issue "QoS in Wireless Sensor/Actuator Networks and Systems"

A special issue of Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks (ISSN 2224-2708).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mário Alves

Politécnico do Porto, School of Engineering (ISEP/IPP), Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 431, 4249-015 Porto, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +351-22-834-0500
Interests: QoS (reliability, timeliness, mobility) in low-power wireless networks, sensor/actuator networks, cyber-physical systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Wireless communication technologies have long since entered our daily lives: from remote controls to baby monitors, from cellular to local area networks. However, industrialists have been very conservative in allowing wireless devices to enter their factory automation and process control systems. This is mainly because "wireless" had only been used for very specific and limited scenarios (e.g. to facilitate point-to-point connections) and did not guarantee reliability, security or lifetime success.

As wireless technology matured (e.g. WiFi and WirelessHART), wireless sensors, actuators and controllers started penetrating the factory floor, replacing or complementing their wired counterparts. While these "hybrid" wired/wireless systems are already a commodity, we are at the dawn of a new era, where computers, sensors and actuators are becoming increasingly embedded and ubiquitous, scaling up systems to unprecedented levels. Consequently, the number of (embedded, networked) devices will grow dramatically while the size of individual devices/nodes will necessarily have to shrink. The “Internet-of-Things” and “Industry 4.0” are very broad umbrellas that encompass this paradigm.

Wireless sensor/actuator networks (WSANs) are thus being increasingly used in a panoply of applications, such as in industrial automation, process control, ambient assisted living, structural health monitoring or homeland security. Most of these applications require stringent Quality-of-Service (QoS) guarantees from their underlying communication infrastructures (regardless of their wireless, wired or hybrid nature). While QoS has been traditionally associated with bit/data rate, network throughput, message delay and bit/packet error rate, these properties alone do not reflect the overall “quality of the service” that needs to be provided to this type of application (and their users). Other (non-functional) properties such as scalability, security, mobility or energy sustainability must also be considered in the design of such complex cyber–physical systems.

This Special Issue targets scientific contributions on wireless sensor/actuator networks and systems (WSANs) addressing QoS properties (hopefully in combination) such as reliability and robustness, timeliness and real-time, scalability, mobility, security and privacy, and energy efficiency and sustainability. We particularly seek papers concerning long-standing cases that have been sufficiently tested and evaluated, either through analytical, simulation or experimental models (hopefully in combination). Extensions to previously published works are accepted, provided that this fact is clearly stated in the submission and the new contribution is significant.

In this context, we are envisaging works covering one or more of the following WSAN topics, with QoS as an overall concern and overarching aspect:

  • System architectures: e.g. improving hardware (e.g. radio technology), software (including operating systems) and communication network architectures to achieve better QoS; scalability; WSAN integration in and interoperability with legacy wired systems; cross-layer design.

  • Reliability and robustness: improving communication errors detection/correction, hardware robustness, systems reliability in general.

  • Timeliness and real-time: improving the timing behavior and reducing/bounding (end-to-end) communication delays, innovative time synchronization techniques

  • Security and privacy: new mechanisms to grant adequate levels of security/privacy without jeopardizing energy and time.

  • Mobility: mechanisms to support mobile devices in a seamless and transparent way, i.e. still respecting the overall QoS requirements.

  • Energy sustainability, efficiency and harvesting: improving devices/system lifetime, e.g. through optimized communications scheduling/duty-cycling and energy/delay trade-offs.

  • Radio interference identification and mitigation: improving the detection, classification and mitigation of communication errors deriving from radio propagation and interference.

  • Communication and network protocols: QoS add-ons, performance/worst-case analysis (analytical, simulation, experimental).

  • QoS in the Internet-of-Things, Cyber-Physical Systems and Industry 4.0 contexts

  • Experimental facilities and test-beds, pilot demonstrations/deployments; innovative simulation and emulation models, platforms and methodologies.

  • Real-world applications, such as in smart health, environmental/structural monitoring, factory automation, process control, smart buildings, body sensor networks, vehicular networks or security/surveillance.

  • Communication standards and technologies for WSAN, e.g. IEEE 802.11, WiFi, IEEE 802.15.4, ZigBee, 6loWPAN, WirelessHART, ISA SP100, MQTT, DASH7, SigFox, LoRa and their integration/interoperability with wired networks.

  • Novel communication technologies to overcome an increasingly overcrowded radio spectrum (e.g. visible light, mm-wave, thermal, vibration, acoustic) communication.

Prof. Dr. Mário Alves

Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Special Issue: Quality of Service in Wireless Sensor/Actuator Networks and Systems
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7010009
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 25 February 2018
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue QoS in Wireless Sensor/Actuator Networks and Systems)

Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Athena: Towards Decision-Centric Anticipatory Sensor Information Delivery
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7010005
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1053 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper introduces a new direction in quality-of-service-aware networked sensing that designs communication protocols and scheduling policies for data delivery that are optimized specifically for decision needs. The work complements present decision monitoring and support tools and falls in the larger framework of
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The paper introduces a new direction in quality-of-service-aware networked sensing that designs communication protocols and scheduling policies for data delivery that are optimized specifically for decision needs. The work complements present decision monitoring and support tools and falls in the larger framework of decision-driven resource management. A hallmark of the new protocols is that they are aware of the inference structure used to arrive at decisions (from logical predicates), as well as the data (and data quality) that need to be furnished to successfully evaluate the unknowns on which these decisions are based. Such protocols can therefore anticipate and deliver precisely the right data, at the right level of quality, from the right sources, at the right time, to enable valid and timely decisions at minimum cost to the underlying network. This paper presents the decision model used and the protocol design philosophy, reviews the key recent results and describes a novel system, called Athena, that is the first to embody the aforementioned data delivery paradigm. Evaluation results are presented that compare the performance of decision-centric anticipatory information delivery to several baselines, demonstrating its various advantages in terms of decision timeliness, validity and network resources used. The paper concludes with a discussion of remaining future challenges in this emerging area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue QoS in Wireless Sensor/Actuator Networks and Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Sensor Network Calculus as Key to the Design of Wireless Sensor Networks with Predictable Performance
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2017, 6(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan6030021
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (811 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article, we survey the sensor network calculus (SensorNC), a framework continuously developed since 2005 to support the predictable design, control and management of large-scale wireless sensor networks with timing constraints. It is rooted in the deterministic network calculus, which it instantiates
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In this article, we survey the sensor network calculus (SensorNC), a framework continuously developed since 2005 to support the predictable design, control and management of large-scale wireless sensor networks with timing constraints. It is rooted in the deterministic network calculus, which it instantiates for WSNs, as well as it generalizes it in some crucial aspects, as for instance in-network processing. Besides presenting these core concepts of the SensorNC, we also discuss the advanced concept of self-modeling of WSNs and efficient tool support for the SensorNC. Furthermore, several applications of the SensorNC methodology, like sink and node placement, as well as TDMA design, are displayed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue QoS in Wireless Sensor/Actuator Networks and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle On-Line RSSI-Range Model Learning for Target Localization and Tracking
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2017, 6(3), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan6030015
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 30 July 2017 / Accepted: 5 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4085 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The interactions of Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) with the environment are very difficult to be modeled, inducing significant errors in RSSI-range models and highly disturbing target localization and tracking methods. Some techniques adopt a training-based approach in which they off-line learn the
[...] Read more.
The interactions of Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) with the environment are very difficult to be modeled, inducing significant errors in RSSI-range models and highly disturbing target localization and tracking methods. Some techniques adopt a training-based approach in which they off-line learn the RSSI-range characteristics of the environment in a prior training phase. However, the training phase is a time-consuming process and must be repeated in case of changes in the environment, constraining flexibility and adaptability. This paper presents schemes in which each anchor node on-line learns its RSSI-range models adapted to the particularities of its environment and then uses its trained model for target localization and tracking. Two methods are presented. The first uses the information of the location of anchor nodes to dynamically adapt the RSSI-range model. In the second one, each anchor node uses estimates of the target location –anchor nodes are assumed equipped with cameras—to on-line adapt its RSSI-range model. The paper presents both methods, describes their operation integrated in localization and tracking schemes and experimentally evaluates their performance in the UBILOC testbed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue QoS in Wireless Sensor/Actuator Networks and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Dynamic Cooperative MAC Protocol for Navigation Carrier Ad Hoc Networks: A DiffServ-Based Approach
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2017, 6(3), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan6030014
Received: 21 October 2016 / Revised: 16 July 2017 / Accepted: 26 July 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7576 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a dynamic cooperative MAC protocol (DDC-MAC) based on cluster network topology is proposed, which has the capability of differentiated service mechanisms and long-range communication. In DDC-MAC, heterogeneous communications are classified according to service types and quality of service (QoS) requirements,
[...] Read more.
In this paper, a dynamic cooperative MAC protocol (DDC-MAC) based on cluster network topology is proposed, which has the capability of differentiated service mechanisms and long-range communication. In DDC-MAC, heterogeneous communications are classified according to service types and quality of service (QoS) requirements, i.e., periodic communication mode (PC mode) is extracted with a QoS guarantee for high-frequency periodic information exchange based on adapt-TDMA mechanisms, while other services are classified as being in on-demand communication mode (OC mode), which includes channel contention and access mechanisms based on a multiple priority algorithm. OC mode is embedded into the adapt-TDMA process adaptively, and the two communication modes can work in parallel. Furthermore, adaptive array hybrid antenna systems and cooperative communication with optimal relay are presented, to exploit the opportunity for long-range transmission, while an adaptive channel back-off sequence is deduced, to mitigate packet collision and network congestion. Moreover, we developed an analytical framework to quantify the performance of the DDC-MAC protocol and conducted extensive simulation. Simulation results show that the proposed DDC-MAC protocol enhances network performance in diverse scenarios, and significantly improves network throughput and reduces average delay compared with other MAC protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue QoS in Wireless Sensor/Actuator Networks and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle An SVM-Based Method for Classification of External Interference in Industrial Wireless Sensor and Actuator Networks
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2017, 6(2), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan6020009
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 3 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (7631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, the adoption of industrial wireless sensor and actuator networks (IWSANs) has greatly increased. However, the time-critical performance of IWSANs is considerably affected by external sources of interference. In particular, when an IEEE 802.11 network is coexisting in the same environment,
[...] Read more.
In recent years, the adoption of industrial wireless sensor and actuator networks (IWSANs) has greatly increased. However, the time-critical performance of IWSANs is considerably affected by external sources of interference. In particular, when an IEEE 802.11 network is coexisting in the same environment, a significant drop in communication reliability is observed. This, in turn, represents one of the main challenges for a wide-scale adoption of IWSAN. Interference classification through spectrum sensing is a possible step towards interference mitigation, but the long sampling window required by many of the approaches in the literature undermines their run-time applicability in time-slotted channel hopping (TSCH)-based IWSAN. Aiming at minimizing both the sensing time and the memory footprint of the collected samples, a centralized interference classifier based on support vector machines (SVMs) is introduced in this article. The proposed mechanism, tested with sample traces collected in industrial scenarios, enables the classification of interference from IEEE 802.11 networks and microwave ovens, while ensuring high classification accuracy with a sensing duration below 300 ms. In addition, the obtained results show that the fast classification together with a contained sampling frequency ensure the suitability of the method for TSCH-based IWSAN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue QoS in Wireless Sensor/Actuator Networks and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Estimating the Lifetime of Wireless Sensor Network Nodes through the Use of Embedded Analytical Battery Models
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2017, 6(2), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan6020008
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 10 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1053 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The operation of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) is subject to multiple constraints, among which one of the most critical is available energy. Sensor nodes are typically powered by electrochemical batteries. The stored energy in battery devices is easily influenced by the operating temperature
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The operation of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) is subject to multiple constraints, among which one of the most critical is available energy. Sensor nodes are typically powered by electrochemical batteries. The stored energy in battery devices is easily influenced by the operating temperature and the discharge current values. Therefore, it becomes difficult to estimate their voltage/charge behavior over time, which are relevant variables for the implementation of energy-aware policies. Nowadays, there are hardware and/or software approaches that can provide information about the battery operating conditions. However, this type of hardware-based approach increases the battery production cost, which may impair its use for sensor node implementations. The objective of this work is to propose a software-based approach to estimate both the state of charge and the voltage of batteries inWSN nodes based on the use of a temperature-dependent analytical battery model. The achieved results demonstrate the feasibility of using embedded analytical battery models to estimate the lifetime of batteries, without affecting the tasks performed by the WSN nodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue QoS in Wireless Sensor/Actuator Networks and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle An Experimental Evaluation of the Reliability of LoRa Long-Range Low-Power Wireless Communication
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2017, 6(2), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan6020007
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (7801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent technological innovations allow compact radios to transmit over long distances with minimal energy consumption and could drastically affect the way Internet of Things (IoT) technologies communicate in the near future. By extending the communication range of links, it is indeed possible to
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Recent technological innovations allow compact radios to transmit over long distances with minimal energy consumption and could drastically affect the way Internet of Things (IoT) technologies communicate in the near future. By extending the communication range of links, it is indeed possible to reduce the network diameter to a point that each node can communicate with almost every other node in the network directly. This drastically simplifies communication, removing the need of routing, and significantly reduces the overhead of data collection. Long-range low-power wireless technology, however, is still at its infancy, and it is yet unclear (i) whether it is sufficiently reliable to complement existing short-range and cellular technologies and (ii) which radio settings can sustain a high delivery rate while maximizing energy-efficiency. To shed light on this matter, this paper presents an extensive experimental study of the reliability of LoRa , one of the most promising long-range low-power wireless technologies to date. We focus our evaluation on the impact of physical layer settings on the effective data rate and energy efficiency of communications. Our results show that it is often not worth tuning parameters, thereby reducing the data rate in order to maximize the probability of successful reception, especially on links at the edge of their communication range. Furthermore, we study the impact of environmental factors on the performance of LoRa, and show that higher temperatures significantly decrease the received signal strength and may drastically affect packet reception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue QoS in Wireless Sensor/Actuator Networks and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Relayer-Enabled Retransmission Scheduling in 802.15.4e LLDN—Exploring a Reinforcement Learning Approach
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2017, 6(2), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan6020006
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 20 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (402 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We consider the scheduling of retransmissions in the low-latency deterministic network (LLDN) extension to the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. We propose a number of retransmission schemes with varying degrees of required changes to the LLDN specification. In particular, we propose a retransmission scheme that
[...] Read more.
We consider the scheduling of retransmissions in the low-latency deterministic network (LLDN) extension to the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. We propose a number of retransmission schemes with varying degrees of required changes to the LLDN specification. In particular, we propose a retransmission scheme that uses cooperative relayers and where the best relayer for a source node is learned using a reinforcement-learning method. The method allows for adapting relayer selections in the face of time-varying channels. Our results show that the relayer-based methods achieve a much better reliability over the other methods, both over static (but unknown) and over time-varying channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue QoS in Wireless Sensor/Actuator Networks and Systems)
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