MIT & CSAIL & NMS & DBG present: Sensor Network Systems Group    
| Research | Projects | Testbed | Publications |

Data Management

The MIST group is working on the design of various query processing and data management interfaces for sensor networks.  The goals of this work are to design high-level "macroprogramming" interfaces that allow users to efficiently query a sensor network without worrying about low-level details related to power management, communications scheduling, and ad-hoc network maintenance.

We are also looking at issues focusing on the use of modeling techniques to allow users to ask queries over noisy, lossy, and uncertain data that is endemic to sensors and other real-world data sources.  In particular, we are looking at probabilistic models as a way to capture historical correlations between sensors  which can then be used to infer missing values and approximately answer queries using just a subset of readings.

Sensor Network Protocols

Our research in this area is driven by challenges unique to sensor networks, such as short-range wireless networking, communication and power budgets, and need for maintenance-free operation. We investigate the issues in congestion control, ad hoc routing, robustness, management and low-power operation of sensor networks.


Our research enables the development of novel sensor network applications, but also addresses new problems exposed in the course of their development. Our work on indoor location and node localization supports a new class of location-aware applications. We are also developing a car-based sensor network as a platform for mobile sensor network research and a variety of real-world applications useful to drivers.

Mitigating Congestion in Wireless Sensor Nets
  • Congestion degrades the wireless channel
  • Result: wasted energy and unfairness
  • Solution: hop-by-hop flow control, rate limiting, MAC techniques
  • Combination: Fusion

  • Bret Hull, Kyle Jamieson and Hari Balakrishnan. "Mitigating Congestion in Wireless Sensor Networks" ACM SenSys 2004. [PDF]

System Support for High-Rate Applications
  • High data-rate sensornet applications: industrial monitoring, structural monitoring (pipelines, bridges), medical sensors
  • Processing 100Hz - 10KHz samples: embedded signal processing, adaptive model-based information processing, efficient wireless traffic management

Cars as Sensor Data Sources
  • Car sensor monitoring and diagnostics
  • Collaborative traffic monitoring/mapping
  • Intermittent connectivity: local storage and opportunistic 802.11 access to share data
  • Peer-to-peer information sharing

Memento Mori
Distributed Failure Detection
  • Efficient delivery of coarse-grained health alerts
  • Robust failure detection
  • Distributed, load-balanced logging of symptoms
  • Remote symptom analysis; time, cause of failure

Indoor Location System
  • Indoor location system for pervasive and sensor-based computing environments
  • Fine-grained location information for handhelds, laptops, and sensor nodes
  • Commercially available from Crossbow

  • Visit the Cricket website for more information

Experimental Sensornet Infrastructure
  • Mica2/Cricket hybrid deployment (Telos coming soon).
  • Ethernet backchannel for experimental data collection.
  • Perl-based job scheduling tools.

  • MistLab website

  • Bret Hull, Kyle Jamieson and Hari Balakrishnan. "Mitigating Congestion in Wireless Sensor Networks" ACM SenSys 2004. [PDF]