Many virtual machines exist for sensor nodes with only a few KB RAM and tens to a few hundred KB flash memory. They pack an impressive set of features, but suffer from a slowdown of one to two orders of magnitude compared to optimised native code, reducing throughput and increasing power consumption. Compiling bytecode to native code to improve performance has been studied extensively for larger devices, but the restricted resources on sensor nodes mean most modern techniques cannot be applied. Simply replacing bytecode instructions with predefined sequences of native instructions is known to improve performance, but produces code several times larger than the optimised C equivalent, limiting the size of programmes that can fit onto a device. This paper identifies the major sources of overhead resulting from this basic approach, and presents optimisations to remove most of the remaining performance overhead, and over half the size overhead, reducing them to 69% and 91% respectively. While this increases the size of the VM, the break-even point at which this fixed cost is compensated for is well within the range of memory available on a sensor device, allowing us to both improve performance and load more code on a device.
Separation of control and data planes (SCDP) is a desirable paradigm for low-power multi-hop wireless sensor networks requiring high network performance and manageability. Existing SCDP networks generally adopt an in-band control plane scheme in that the control-plane messages are delivered by their data-plane networks. The physical coupling of the two planes may lead to undesirable consequences. Recently, multi-radio platforms are increasingly available, making the physical separation of the two planes possible. To advance the network architecture design, we leverage on the long-range communication capability of low-power wide-area network radios to form one-hop out-of-band control planes. We choose LoRaWAN to prototype our out-of-band control plane called LoRaCP. Several characteristics of LoRaWAN such as downlink-uplink asymmetry and primitive ALOHA media access control (MAC) need to be dealt with to achieve high reliability and efficiency. We design a TDMA-based multi-channel MAC featuring an urgent channel and negative acknowledgment. On a testbed of 16 nodes, we demonstrate applying LoRaCP to physically separate the control-plane network of the Collection Tree Protocol from its ZigBee-based data-plane network. Extensive experiments show that LoRaCP increases packet delivery ratio from 65% to 80% in the presence of external interference, while consuming a per-node radio power of 2.97mW only.
Buildings can achieve energy-efficiency by using solar passive design, energy-efficient structures and materials, or by optimizing their operational energy use. In each of these areas, efficiency can be improved if the physical properties of the building along with its dynamic behavior can be captured using low-cost embedded sensor devices. This opens up a new challenge of installing and maintaining the sensor devices for different types of buildings. In this article, we propose BuildSense, a sensing framework for fine-grained, long-term monitoring of buildings using a mix of physical and virtual sensors. It not only reduces the deployment and management cost of sensors but can also guarantee accurate and fault-tolerant data coverage for long-term use. We evaluate BuildSense using sensor measurements from two rammed-earth houses that were custom-designed for a challenging hot-arid climate such that almost no artificial heating or cooling is required. We demonstrate that BuildSense can significantly reduce the costs of permanent physical sensors whilst still achieving fit-for-purpose accuracy and stability. Overall, we were able to reduce the cost of a building sensor network by 60\% to 80\% by replacing physical sensors with virtual ones while still maintaining accuracy of $\leq$1.0\textdegree\,C and fault-tolerance of $\geq 2$ predictors per sensor.
Activity recognition is an important component of many pervasive computing applications. Radio-based activity recognition has the advantage that it does not have the privacy concern compared with camera-based solutions, and subjects do not have to carry a device on them. It has been shown channel state information(CSI) can be used for activity recognition in a device-free setting. With the proliferation of wireless devices, it is important to understand how radio frequency interference(RFI) can impact on pervasive computing applications. In this paper, we investigate the impact of RFI on device-free CSI-based location-oriented activity recognition. We present data to show that RFI can have a significant impact on the CSI vectors. In the absence of RFI, different activities give rise to different CSI vectors that can be differentiated visually. However, in the presence of RFI, the CSI vectors become much noisier, and activity recognition also becomes harder. Our extensive experiments show that the performance may degrade significantly with RFI. We then propose a number of countermeasures to mitigate the impact of RFI and improve the performance. We are also the first to use complex-valued CSI along with the state-of-the-art Sparse Representation Classification method to enhance the performance in the environment with RFI.