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Special Issue "Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Sensor Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 July 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. António Casimiro

Department of Informatics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisboa, Campo Grande, Bloco C6, Piso 3, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: distributed systems; fault tolerance; dependability; adaptive systems; embedded systems; wireless sensor networks

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Wireless Sensor Networks are used in many applications, in particular for monitoring and control purposes. One important aspect in these applications is to ensure that collected sensor data has enough quality for the intended purposes. For instance, this is a major concern in critical applications, such as those used in industrial environments, in health care or in environmental monitoring. To improve the quality of data, several approaches can be employed. These include, among others, improvements in sensor technology, the employment of signal analysis and machine learning techniques for data processing, or the use of data fusion techniques. The concrete solutions depend on issues such as the specific data being collected, performance needs, deployment scale, mobility, criticality of the application, etc. Dependability aspects with explicit or implicit impact on the quality of data, like fault-tolerance, availability, security or safety, tend to be increasingly important with the widespread use of WSNs and require further research.

The Special Issue aims at bringing together research efforts and developments in the area of dependable monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks, including, for instance, architectural solutions for robust and fault-tolerant behavior, data quality modelling, representation and analysis, protocols for secure network operation, machine learning techniques for diagnosis and mitigation of faults or node synchronization and timeliness aspects with impact on data quality. The Special Issue also seeks for application examples in which some dependability aspect has been focused in the application design.

Prof. António Casimiro
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Fault-tolerant and accurate sensor technology
  • WSN architectures for dependable operation
  • Protocols for secure monitoring, namely for data integrity and availability assurance
  • Timeliness and real-time aspects in WSN monitoring
  • Machine learning techniques for fault detection and data quality improvement
  • Sensor fusion techniques
  • Data quality modeling and evaluation
  • Dependable WSN applications

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle A Flexible Wireless Sensor Network Based on Ultra-Wide Band Technology for Ground Instability Monitoring
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2948; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18092948
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
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Abstract
An innovative wireless sensor network (WSN) based on Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) technology for 3D accurate superficial monitoring of ground deformations, as landslides and subsidence, is proposed. The system has been designed and developed as part of an European Life+ project, called Wi-GIM (Wireless
[...] Read more.
An innovative wireless sensor network (WSN) based on Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) technology for 3D accurate superficial monitoring of ground deformations, as landslides and subsidence, is proposed. The system has been designed and developed as part of an European Life+ project, called Wi-GIM (Wireless Sensor Network for Ground Instability Monitoring). The details of the architecture, the localization via wireless technology and data processing protocols are described. The flexibility and accuracy achieved by the UWB two-way ranging technique is analysed and compared with the traditional systems, such as robotic total stations (RTSs) and Ground-based Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (GB-InSAR), highlighting the pros and cons of the UWB solution to detect the surface movements. An extensive field trial campaign allows the validation of the system and the analysis of its sensitivity to different factors (e.g., sensor nodes inter-visibility, effects of the temperature, etc.). The Wi-GIM system represents a promising solution for landslide monitoring and it can be adopted in combination with traditional systems or as an alternative in areas where the available resources are inadequate. The versatility, easy/fast deployment and cost-effectiveness, together with good accuracy, make the Wi-GIM system a possible solution for municipalities that cannot afford expensive/complex systems to monitor potential landslides in their territory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle ECG-RNG: A Random Number Generator Based on ECG Signals and Suitable for Securing Wireless Sensor Networks
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2747; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18092747
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are a promising technology with applications in many areas such as environment monitoring, agriculture, the military field or health-care, to name but a few. Unfortunately, the wireless connectivity of the sensors opens doors to many security threats, and therefore,
[...] Read more.
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are a promising technology with applications in many areas such as environment monitoring, agriculture, the military field or health-care, to name but a few. Unfortunately, the wireless connectivity of the sensors opens doors to many security threats, and therefore, cryptographic solutions must be included on-board these devices and preferably in their design phase. In this vein, Random Number Generators (RNGs) play a critical role in security solutions such as authentication protocols or key-generation algorithms. In this article is proposed an avant-garde proposal based on the cardiac signal generator we carry with us (our heart), which can be recorded with medical or even low-cost sensors with wireless connectivity. In particular, for the extraction of random bits, a multi-level decomposition has been performed by wavelet analysis. The proposal has been tested with one of the largest and most publicly available datasets of electrocardiogram signals (202 subjects and 24 h of recording time). Regarding the assessment, the proposed True Random Number Generator (TRNG) has been tested with the most demanding batteries of statistical tests (ENT, DIEHARDERand NIST), and this has been completed with a bias, distinctiveness and performance analysis. From the analysis conducted, it can be concluded that the output stream of our proposed TRNG behaves as a random variable and is suitable for securing WSNs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle Device-Based Security to Improve User Privacy in the Internet of Things
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2664; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082664
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 10 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
The use of Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly growing and a huge amount of data is being generated by IoT devices. Cloud computing is a natural candidate to handle this data since it has enough power and capacity to process, store and
[...] Read more.
The use of Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly growing and a huge amount of data is being generated by IoT devices. Cloud computing is a natural candidate to handle this data since it has enough power and capacity to process, store and control data access. Moreover, this approach brings several benefits to the IoT, such as the aggregation of all IoT data in a common place and the use of cloud services to consume this data and provide useful applications. However, enforcing user privacy when sending sensitive information to the cloud is a challenge. This work presents and evaluates an architecture to provide privacy in the integration of IoT and cloud computing. The proposed architecture, called PROTeCtPrivacy aRquitecture for integratiOn of internet of Things and Cloud computing, improves user privacy by implementing privacy enforcement at the IoT devices instead of at the gateway, as is usually done. Consequently, the proposed approach improves both system security and fault tolerance, since it removes the single point of failure (gateway). The proposed architecture is evaluated through an analytical analysis and simulations with severely constrained devices, where delay and energy consumption are evaluated and compared to other architectures. The obtained results show the practical feasibility of the proposed solutions and demonstrate that the overheads introduced in the IoT devices are worthwhile considering the increased level of privacy and security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle Automated Methodology for Dependability Evaluation of Wireless Visual Sensor Networks
Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2629; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082629
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
Wireless sensor networks have been considered as an effective solution to a wide range of applications due to their prominent characteristics concerning information retrieving and distributed processing. When visual information can be also retrieved by sensor nodes, applications acquire a more comprehensive perception
[...] Read more.
Wireless sensor networks have been considered as an effective solution to a wide range of applications due to their prominent characteristics concerning information retrieving and distributed processing. When visual information can be also retrieved by sensor nodes, applications acquire a more comprehensive perception of monitored environments, fostering the creation of wireless visual sensor networks. As such networks are being more often considered for critical monitoring and control applications, usually related to catastrophic situation prevention, security enhancement and crises management, fault tolerance becomes a major expected service for visual sensor networks. A way to address this issue is to evaluate the system dependability through quantitative attributes (e.g., reliability and availability), which require a proper modeling strategy to describe the system behavior. That way, in this paper, we propose a methodology to model and evaluate the dependability of wireless visual sensor networks using Fault Tree Analysis and Markov Chains. The proposed modeling strategy considers hardware, battery, link and coverage failures, besides considering routing protocols on the network communication behavior. The methodology is automated by a framework developed and integrated with the SHARPE (Symbolic Hierarchical Automated Reliability and Performance Evaluator) tool. The achieved results show that this methodology is useful to compare different network implementations and the corresponding dependability, enabling the uncovering of potentially weak points in the network behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle Cellular Simulation for Distributed Sensing over Complex Terrains
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2323; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072323
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
Long-range radio transmissions open new sensor application fields, in particular for environment monitoring. For example, the LoRa radio protocol enables connecting remote sensors at a distance as long as ten kilometers in a line-of-sight. However, the large area covered also brings several difficulties,
[...] Read more.
Long-range radio transmissions open new sensor application fields, in particular for environment monitoring. For example, the LoRa radio protocol enables connecting remote sensors at a distance as long as ten kilometers in a line-of-sight. However, the large area covered also brings several difficulties, such as the placement of sensing devices in regards to topology in geography, or the variability of communication latency. Sensing the environment also carries constraints related to the interest of sensing points in relation to a physical phenomenon. Thus, criteria for designs are evolving a lot from the existing methods, especially in complex terrains. This article describes simulation techniques based on geography analysis to compute long-range radio coverages and radio characteristics in these situations. As radio propagation is just a particular case of physical phenomena, it is shown how a unified approach also allows for characterizing the behavior of potential physical risks. The case of heavy rainfall and flooding is investigated. Geography analysis is achieved using segmentation tools to produce cellular systems which are in turn translated into code for high-performance computations. The paper provides results from practical complex terrain experiments using LoRa, which confirm the accuracy of the simulation, and scheduling characteristics for sample networks. Performance tables are produced for these simulations on current Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle Design and Implementation of a Wireless Sensor and Actuator Network to Support the Intelligent Control of Efficient Energy Usage
Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1892; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061892
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4952 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Energy saving has become a major concern for the developed society of our days. This paper presents a Wireless Sensor and Actuator Network (WSAN) designed to provide support to an automatic intelligent system, based on the Internet of Things (IoT), which enables a
[...] Read more.
Energy saving has become a major concern for the developed society of our days. This paper presents a Wireless Sensor and Actuator Network (WSAN) designed to provide support to an automatic intelligent system, based on the Internet of Things (IoT), which enables a responsible consumption of energy. The proposed overall system performs an efficient energetic management of devices, machines and processes, optimizing their operation to achieve a reduction in their overall energy usage at any given time. For this purpose, relevant data is collected from intelligent sensors, which are in-stalled at the required locations, as well as from the energy market through the Internet. This information is analysed to provide knowledge about energy utilization, and to improve efficiency. The system takes autonomous decisions automatically, based on the available information and the specific requirements in each case. The proposed system has been implanted and tested in a food factory. Results show a great optimization of energy efficiency and a substantial improvement on energy and costs savings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle Combining Fog Computing with Sensor Mote Machine Learning for Industrial IoT
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1532; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051532
Received: 10 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 12 May 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Digitalization is a global trend becoming ever more important to our connected and sustainable society. This trend also affects industry where the Industrial Internet of Things is an important part, and there is a need to conserve spectrum as well as energy when
[...] Read more.
Digitalization is a global trend becoming ever more important to our connected and sustainable society. This trend also affects industry where the Industrial Internet of Things is an important part, and there is a need to conserve spectrum as well as energy when communicating data to a fog or cloud back-end system. In this paper we investigate the benefits of fog computing by proposing a novel distributed learning model on the sensor device and simulating the data stream in the fog, instead of transmitting all raw sensor values to the cloud back-end. To save energy and to communicate as few packets as possible, the updated parameters of the learned model at the sensor device are communicated in longer time intervals to a fog computing system. The proposed framework is implemented and tested in a real world testbed in order to make quantitative measurements and evaluate the system. Our results show that the proposed model can achieve a 98% decrease in the number of packets sent over the wireless link, and the fog node can still simulate the data stream with an acceptable accuracy of 97%. We also observe an end-to-end delay of 180 ms in our proposed three-layer framework. Hence, the framework shows that a combination of fog and cloud computing with a distributed data modeling at the sensor device for wireless sensor networks can be beneficial for Industrial Internet of Things applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle How to Stop Disagreeing and Start Cooperatingin the Presence of Asymmetric Packet Loss
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1287; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041287
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
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Abstract
We consider the design of a disagreement correction protocol in multi-vehicle systems. Vehicles broadcast in real-time vital information such as position, direction, speed, acceleration, intention, etc. This information is then used to identify the risks and adapt their trajectory to maintain the highest
[...] Read more.
We consider the design of a disagreement correction protocol in multi-vehicle systems. Vehicles broadcast in real-time vital information such as position, direction, speed, acceleration, intention, etc. This information is then used to identify the risks and adapt their trajectory to maintain the highest performance without compromising the safety. To minimize the risk due to the use of inconsistent information, all cooperating vehicles must agree whether to use the exchanged information to operate in a cooperative mode or use the only local information to operate in an autonomous mode. However, since wireless communications are prone to failures, it is impossible to deterministically reach an agreement. Therefore, any protocol will exhibit necessary disagreement periods. In this paper, we investigate whether vehicles can still cooperate despite communication failures even in the scenario where communication is suddenly not available. We present a deterministic protocol that allows all participants to either operate a cooperative mode when vehicles can exchange all the information in a timely manner or operate in autonomous mode when messages are lost. We show formally that the disagreement time is bounded by the time that the communication channel requires to deliver messages and validate our protocol using NS-3 simulations. We explain how the proposed solution can be used in vehicular platooning to attain high performance and still guarantee high safety standards despite communication failures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle Localization of an Underwater Control Network Based on Quasi-Stable Adjustment
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18040950
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
There exists a common problem in the localization of underwater control networks that the precision of the absolute coordinates of known points obtained by marine absolute measurement is poor, and it seriously affects the precision of the whole network in traditional constraint adjustment.
[...] Read more.
There exists a common problem in the localization of underwater control networks that the precision of the absolute coordinates of known points obtained by marine absolute measurement is poor, and it seriously affects the precision of the whole network in traditional constraint adjustment. Therefore, considering that the precision of underwater baselines is good, we use it to carry out quasi-stable adjustment to amend known points before constraint adjustment so that the points fit the network shape better. In addition, we add unconstrained adjustment for quality control of underwater baselines, the observations of quasi-stable adjustment and constrained adjustment, to eliminate the unqualified baselines and improve the results’ accuracy of the two adjustments. Finally, the modified method is applied to a practical LBL (Long Baseline) experiment and obtains a mean point location precision of 0.08 m, which improves by 38% compared with the traditional method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Generic Sensor Failure Modeling for Cooperative Systems
Sensors 2018, 18(3), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18030925
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
The advent of cooperative systems entails a dynamic composition of their components. As this contrasts current, statically composed systems, new approaches for maintaining their safety are required. In that endeavor, we propose an integration step that evaluates the failure model of shared information
[...] Read more.
The advent of cooperative systems entails a dynamic composition of their components. As this contrasts current, statically composed systems, new approaches for maintaining their safety are required. In that endeavor, we propose an integration step that evaluates the failure model of shared information in relation to an application’s fault tolerance and thereby promises maintainability of such system’s safety. However, it also poses new requirements on failure models, which are not fulfilled by state-of-the-art approaches. Consequently, this work presents a mathematically defined generic failure model as well as a processing chain for automatically extracting such failure models from empirical data. By examining data of an Sharp GP2D12 distance sensor, we show that the generic failure model not only fulfills the predefined requirements, but also models failure characteristics appropriately when compared to traditional techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle Mutual-Information-Based Incremental Relaying Communications for Wireless Biomedical Implant Systems
Sensors 2018, 18(2), 515; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020515
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2862 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Network lifetime maximization of wireless biomedical implant systems is one of the major research challenges of wireless body area networks (WBANs). In this paper, a mutual information (MI)-based incremental relaying communication protocol is presented where several on-body relay nodes and one coordinator are
[...] Read more.
Network lifetime maximization of wireless biomedical implant systems is one of the major research challenges of wireless body area networks (WBANs). In this paper, a mutual information (MI)-based incremental relaying communication protocol is presented where several on-body relay nodes and one coordinator are attached to the clothes of a patient. Firstly, a comprehensive analysis of a system model is investigated in terms of channel path loss, energy consumption, and the outage probability from the network perspective. Secondly, only when the MI value becomes smaller than the predetermined threshold is data transmission allowed. The communication path selection can be either from the implanted sensor to the on-body relay then forwards to the coordinator or from the implanted sensor to the coordinator directly, depending on the communication distance. Moreover, mathematical models of quality of service (QoS) metrics are derived along with the related subjective functions. The results show that the MI-based incremental relaying technique achieves better performance in comparison to our previous proposed protocol techniques regarding several selected performance metrics. The outcome of this paper can be applied to intra-body continuous physiological signal monitoring, artificial biofeedback-oriented WBANs, and telemedicine system design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle GTSO: Global Trace Synchronization and Ordering Mechanism for Wireless Sensor Network Monitoring Platforms
Sensors 2018, 18(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010028
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4422 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Monitoring is one of the best ways to evaluate the behavior of computer systems. When the monitored system is a distributed system—such as a wireless sensor network (WSN)—the monitoring operation must also be distributed, providing a distributed trace for further analysis. The temporal
[...] Read more.
Monitoring is one of the best ways to evaluate the behavior of computer systems. When the monitored system is a distributed system—such as a wireless sensor network (WSN)—the monitoring operation must also be distributed, providing a distributed trace for further analysis. The temporal sequence of occurrence of the events registered by the distributed monitoring platform (DMP) must be correctly established to provide cause-effect relationships between them, so the logs obtained in different monitor nodes must be synchronized. Many of synchronization mechanisms applied to DMPs consist in adjusting the internal clocks of the nodes to the same value as a reference time. However, these mechanisms can create an incoherent event sequence. This article presents a new method to achieve global synchronization of the traces obtained in a DMP. It is based on periodic synchronization signals that are received by the monitor nodes and logged along with the recorded events. This mechanism processes all traces and generates a global post-synchronized trace by scaling all times registered proportionally according with the synchronization signals. It is intended to be a simple but efficient offline mechanism. Its application in a WSN-DMP demonstrates that it guarantees a correct ordering of the events, avoiding the aforementioned issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dependable Monitoring in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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