Embedded network systems, including sensor networks, distributed control applications, and ubiquitous computing environments, are becoming an important new computing class with wide ranging and novel applications. They present a range of computer systems challenges because they are closely coupled to the physical world with all its unpredictable variation, noise, and asynchrony; they involve many energy-constrained, resource-limited devices operating in concert; they must be largely self-organizing and self-maintaining; and they must be robust despite significant noise, loss, and failure. This area has reached a stage where solid initial platforms have been developed, a number of 'leading applications' have been fielded, and a rich body of literature has emerged.

This course will be reading/project/discussion focused, with a goal of covering the area is substantial depth. Topics include application-driven network architectures, emerging platforms and technology, resource constrained real-time OSs, media access control, distributed algorithms (broadcast, anycast, multicast, convergecast) in lossy wireless networks, ad hoc multihop routing, pseudo-geographic routing, in-network aggregation and processing, multi-resolution storage, compression and source-coding, time synchronization, coverage and density, ranging and localization, resilient aggregators, tracking, capacity, distributed feature extraction, tracking, and collaborative signal processing. We will also look at emerging standards, such as ZIGBEE. It will require substantial reading and class participation, a sequence of group mini-studies, and a research project.

Changes this year

This is the second time we teach this course. This year we have expanded the scope of the class by adding a new family of topics broadly called Information Processing. This area includes topics such as calibration, estimation, and sensor coordination. Topics covered in this area reflect the reality that the unique character of wireless sensor networks (WSNs), including their distributed character and the uncertainty associated with operating in close proximity to the physical environment, requires a new class of techniques to process and combine measurements collected by different sensors as well as to reason about sensor networks in general. Dr. I-Jeng Wang from APL will cover these topics during one of the three lectures each week.



Class Participation10%
Paper Summaries10%


There are no required textbooks. All the material for this course will be from research papers. The following book is suggested if you want to refresh your knowledge in Networking.

Recommended: Computer Networks: A Systems Approach 3rd Edition by Larry Peterson and Bruce Davie. Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann