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Information Interaction in Wireless Sensor
Networks Based on Socially Aware Computing
Honggang Zhao , Xiufang Ma, and Chen Shi
Xi’an Communication Institute, Xi’an, 710106, China
[email protected]
Abstract. The integration of pervasive computing and social computing results in a new emerging research field - Socially Aware Computing.
This new paradigm makes it possible to study Wireless Sensor Networks
(WSN) as a social network, in which the embedded sensors are the main
entities as opposed to human beings in a traditional social network. Therefore, the combination of WSN and Socially Aware Computing holds great
promise and challenge to use the sensory data to understand human behavior, human mobility, and ultimately to help solve human social problems. In this paper, we propose an information interaction infrastructure
in WSN based on Socially Aware Computing, in which the sensory context
is used to recognize a broad range of complex human activities and environmental situations. We also present the information interaction challenges for WSN integrated into the Internet and point out the future work
in this area.
Keywords: Wireless Sensor Networks, Socially Aware Computing,
Internet of Things, Information Interaction.
1
Introduction
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are playing more and more a key role in many
application scenarios such as healthcare, agriculture, environment monitoring,
and smart metering. It is clear that the potential of WSN paradigm will be fully
unleashed once WSN are integrated into the Internet [1, 2], becoming part of
the Internet of Things (IoT). However, it is necessary to discuss how to resolve
the information interaction problems faced by WSN integrated into Internet, in
which sensory data is used to understand human behavior, human mobility, and
human activities, and ultimately to help solve human social problems. This is
different from the traditional sensor networks [3–6].
While the concept of social awareness has been developed in the field of Computer Supported Cooperative Work for decades, the notion of Socially Aware
Computation and Communication has only recently been raised by Alex Pentland [7]. The integration of pervasive computing and social computing results
in a new emerging research field in computer science - Socially Aware Computing [8, 9], which aims to leverage the large-scale and diverse sensing devices
Corresponding author.
L. Sun, H. Ma, and F. Hong (Eds.): CWSN 2013, CCIS 418, pp. 71–81, 2014.
c Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014
72
H. Zhao, X. Ma, and C. Shi
that can be deployed in human daily lives to recognize individual behaviors, discover group interaction patterns, and support communication and collaboration
[10–12]. Therefore, Socially Aware Computing brings new light to the research
of information interaction in WSN integrated into the Internet.
The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 outlines the information interaction challenges for WSN integrated into the Internet. In Section
3, an information interaction infrastructure in WSN based on Socially Aware
Computing is proposed. In section 4, the paper will describe some of the related
work that was already done in this new area. Finally, section 5 concludes the
paper pointing future research trends in this area.
2
Information Interaction Challenges for WSN Integrated
into the Internet
When WSN are integrated into the Internet, more complicated information is
collected and mined to understand human behavior and ultimately to help solve
human social problems, which brings the new information interaction challenges.
Representation of Heterogeneous Information. When WSN are integrated into
the Internet, heterogeneous information is collected from different types of sensor nodes which might measure different data and perform different tasks [22].
The nodes might have different sensors for monitoring the environment [13, 14].
Therefore, multi-source information fusion estimation methods should be given
to represent complicated information [23, 24].
Interaction Between Various Sensor Nodes. In traditional sensor networks, all
sensor nodes of one type are able to communicate with each other and build a
sensor subnet. While in WSN that has been integrated into the Internet, many
exiting sensor platforms have different radio modules and are thus not able to
communicate with each other [14, 15]. Then the interaction architecture should
be provided, thus the sensor nodes in different subnets can interact with necessary information [10, 11], which includes sensor node hardware details (e.g. chip,
transceiver), sensor node software details (e.g. operating system versions), and
dynamic properties (e.g. battery).
Interpretation of Contextual Information. The sensor node context is the information which is not related to the real human behavior and human activities.
This can be location, radio information and its capabilities [24, 25], which can
only help to understand more about the sensor and its surroundings. Then data
gathering and logical methods for context interpretation should be studied to
understand human activities [35, 36].
The new generation of sensor nodes has realized the early vision of context
awareness. The next step for WSN should be facilitating real-world impact of
more complex recognition, moving toward next-generation opportunistic recognition configurations and large-scale ensembles of sensor nodes interacting with
communities of human. When WSN are integrated into the Internet, they will
collect and analyze data with an unprecedented breadth and depth and scale.
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