Learning in wireless sensor networks for energy-efficient environmental monitoring/Apprentissage dans les réseaux de capteurs pour une surveillance environnementale moins coûteuse en énergie

by Le Borgne, Yann-Aël

Abstract (Summary)
Wireless sensor networks form an emerging class of computing devices capable of observing the world with an unprecedented resolution, and promise to provide a revolutionary instrument for environmental monitoring. Such a network is composed of a collection of battery-operated wireless sensors, or sensor nodes, each of which is equipped with sensing, processing and wireless communication capabilities. Thanks to advances in microelectronics and wireless technologies, wireless sensors are small in size, and can be deployed at low cost over different kinds of environments in order to monitor both over space and time the variations of physical quantities such as temperature, humidity, light, or sound. In environmental monitoring studies, many applications are expected to run unattended for months or years. Sensor nodes are however constrained by limited resources, particularly in terms of energy. Since communication is one order of magnitude more energy-consuming than processing, the design of data collection schemes that limit the amount of transmitted data is therefore recognized as a central issue for wireless sensor networks. An efficient way to address this challenge is to approximate, by means of mathematical models, the evolution of the measurements taken by sensors over space and/or time. Indeed, whenever a mathematical model may be used in place of the true measurements, significant gains in communications may be obtained by only transmitting the parameters of the model instead of the set of real measurements. Since in most cases there is little or no a priori information about the variations taken by sensor measurements, the models must be identified in an automated manner. This calls for the use of machine learning techniques, which allow to model the variations of future measurements on the basis of past measurements. This thesis brings two main contributions to the use of learning techniques in a sensor network. First, we propose an approach which combines time series prediction and model selection for reducing the amount of communication. The rationale of this approach, called adaptive model selection, is to let the sensors determine in an automated manner a prediction model that does not only fits their measurements, but that also reduces the amount of transmitted data. The second main contribution is the design of a distributed approach for modeling sensed data, based on the principal component analysis (PCA). The proposed method allows to transform along a routing tree the measurements taken in such a way that (i) most of the variability in the measurements is retained, and (ii) the network load sustained by sensor nodes is reduced and more evenly distributed, which in turn extends the overall network lifetime. The framework can be seen as a truly distributed approach for the principal component analysis, and finds applications not only for approximated data collection tasks, but also for event detection or recognition tasks.
This document abstract is also available in French.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Bontempi, Gianluca; Saerens, Marco; Vaccrao, Alfredo; Lenaerts, Tom; Latouche, Guy; Dricot, Jean-Michel; Tran, Duc

School:Université libre de Bruxelles

School Location:Belgium

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:Machine Learning/Apprentissage


Date of Publication:04/30/2009

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