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Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) typically gather data at a discrete number of locations. However, it is desirable to be able to design applications and reason about the data in more abstract forms ...
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) typically gather data at a discrete number of locations. However, it is desirable to be able to design applications and reason about the data in more abstract forms than in points of data. By bestowing the ability to predict inter-node values upon the network, it is proposed that it will become possible to build applications that are unaware of the concrete reality of sparse data. This interpolation capability is realised as a service of the network. In this paper, the ‘map’ style of presentation has been identified as a suitable sense data visualisation format. Although map generation is essentially a problem of interpolation between points, a new WSN service, called the map generation service, which is based on a Shepard interpolation method, is presented. A modified Shepard method that aims to deal with the special characteristics of WSNs is proposed. It requires small storage, can be localised and integrates the information about the application domain to further reduce the map generation cost and improve the mapping accuracy. Flood management application is considered to demonstrate how MGS-generated maps can be used in various applications. Empirical analysis has shown that the map generation service is an accurate, a flexible and an efficient method.