Cooperative communication and distributed detection in wireless sensor networks

Lucchi, Matteo (2008) Cooperative communication and distributed detection in wireless sensor networks, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria elettronica, informatica e delle telecomunicazioni, 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/932.
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Recent progress in microelectronic and wireless communications have enabled the development of low cost, low power, multifunctional sensors, which has allowed the birth of new type of networks named wireless sensor networks (WSNs). The main features of such networks are: the nodes can be positioned randomly over a given field with a high density; each node operates both like sensor (for collection of environmental data) as well as transceiver (for transmission of information to the data retrieval); the nodes have limited energy resources. The use of wireless communications and the small size of nodes, make this type of networks suitable for a large number of applications. For example, sensor nodes can be used to monitor a high risk region, as near a volcano; in a hospital they could be used to monitor physical conditions of patients. For each of these possible application scenarios, it is necessary to guarantee a trade-off between energy consumptions and communication reliability. The thesis investigates the use of WSNs in two possible scenarios and for each of them suggests a solution that permits to solve relating problems considering the trade-off introduced. The first scenario considers a network with a high number of nodes deployed in a given geographical area without detailed planning that have to transmit data toward a coordinator node, named sink, that we assume to be located onboard an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This is a practical example of reachback communication, characterized by the high density of nodes that have to transmit data reliably and efficiently towards a far receiver. It is considered that each node transmits a common shared message directly to the receiver onboard the UAV whenever it receives a broadcast message (triggered for example by the vehicle). We assume that the communication channels between the local nodes and the receiver are subject to fading and noise. The receiver onboard the UAV must be able to fuse the weak and noisy signals in a coherent way to receive the data reliably. It is proposed a cooperative diversity concept as an effective solution to the reachback problem. In particular, it is considered a spread spectrum (SS) transmission scheme in conjunction with a fusion center that can exploit cooperative diversity, without requiring stringent synchronization between nodes. The idea consists of simultaneous transmission of the common message among the nodes and a Rake reception at the fusion center. The proposed solution is mainly motivated by two goals: the necessity to have simple nodes (to this aim we move the computational complexity to the receiver onboard the UAV), and the importance to guarantee high levels of energy efficiency of the network, thus increasing the network lifetime. The proposed scheme is analyzed in order to better understand the effectiveness of the approach presented. The performance metrics considered are both the theoretical limit on the maximum amount of data that can be collected by the receiver, as well as the error probability with a given modulation scheme. Since we deal with a WSN, both of these performance are evaluated taking into consideration the energy efficiency of the network. The second scenario considers the use of a chain network for the detection of fires by using nodes that have a double function of sensors and routers. The first one is relative to the monitoring of a temperature parameter that allows to take a local binary decision of target (fire) absent/present. The second one considers that each node receives a decision made by the previous node of the chain, compares this with that deriving by the observation of the phenomenon, and transmits the final result to the next node. The chain ends at the sink node that transmits the received decision to the user. In this network the goals are to limit throughput in each sensor-to-sensor link and minimize probability of error at the last stage of the chain. This is a typical scenario of distributed detection. To obtain good performance it is necessary to define some fusion rules for each node to summarize local observations and decisions of the previous nodes, to get a final decision that it is transmitted to the next node. WSNs have been studied also under a practical point of view, describing both the main characteristics of IEEE802:15:4 standard and two commercial WSN platforms. By using a commercial WSN platform it is realized an agricultural application that has been tested in a six months on-field experimentation.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Lucchi, Matteo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
telecommunications wireless sensor networks cooperative diversity distributed detection energy efficiency
Data di discussione
6 Maggio 2008

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