Fault tolerant middleware idioms based on self-stabilizing algorithms in wireless sensor networks.

  • Duration: October 2011 to February 2017
  • Funding: DFG-Project
  • Partner: Prof. Thurau, Institut für Telematik, TU Hamburg-Harburg

Wireless sensor network applications are inherently difficult to develop due to their tight integration into the physical world, scarce resources and notoriously unreliable radio communication that frequently lead to transient faults. This combined with the long-lasting unattended operation mode is an enormous challenge.

This research project pursues the goal of furnishing essential operations of wireless sensor networks with fault tolerance based on self-stabilizing algorithms and thus to lay foundation for a permanent and uninterrupted operation of these networks. The project will be based on two fundamental assumptions. Firstly, fault tolerance is not an add-on to an existing middleware, but a recurrent theme throughout the design of the software infrastructure that glues together all components. Secondly, fault tolerance must be a self-organizing property.

The latter assumption demands for a highly decentralized mode of operation. The project will substantiate the claim that the employment of self-stabilizing algorithms will bring about the same degree of fault tolerance, as this can be achieved with state of the art middleware platforms. We will evidence that with the new approach the consumption of resources is considerably reduced and that adaption to new types of errors is an inherent feature. The quantitative analysis of these claims will be carried out through a comparison of existing middleware platforms and a prototypical implementation of our approach.

The anticipated results will considerably enhance the field of fault tolerance for wireless sensor networks. At the end of the project new algorithms and new methodologies will be available to bring this type of network closer to real world applications.