2nd International ICST Conference on Wireless Internet

Research Article

People-centric urban sensing

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1145/1234161.1234179,
        author={Andrew T.  Campbell and Shane B.  Eisenman and Nicholas D. Lane and Emiliano  Miluzzo and Ronald A.  Peterson},
        title={People-centric urban sensing},
        proceedings={2nd International ICST Conference on Wireless Internet},
        keywords={Urban Sensing People-centric Mobile Wireless Sensor Networks},
  • Andrew T. Campbell
    Shane B. Eisenman
    Nicholas D. Lane
    Emiliano Miluzzo
    Ronald A. Peterson
    Year: 2006
    People-centric urban sensing
    DOI: 10.1145/1234161.1234179
Andrew T. Campbell1,*, Shane B. Eisenman2,*, Nicholas D. Lane1,*, Emiliano Miluzzo1,*, Ronald A. Peterson1,*
  • 1: Computer Science, Dartmouth College Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
  • 2: Electrical Engineering, Columbia University New York, New York, USA
*Contact email: campbell@cs.dartmouth.edu, shane@ee.columbia.edu, niclane@cs.dartmouth.edu, miluzzo@cs.dartmouth.edu, rapjr@cs.dartmouth.edu


The vast majority of advances in sensor network research over the last five years have focused on the development of a series of small-scale (100s of nodes) testbeds and specialized applications (e.g., environmental monitoring, etc.) that are built on low-powered sensor devices that self-organize to form application-specific multihop wireless networks. We believe that sensor networks have reached an important crossroads in their development. The question we address in this paper is how to propel sensor networks from their small-scale application-specific network origins, into the commercial mainstream of people's every day lives; the challenge being: how do we develop large-scale general-purpose sensor networks for the general public (e.g., consumers) capable of supporting a wide variety of applications in urban settings (e.g., enterprises, hospitals, recreational areas, towns, cities, and the metropolis). We propose MetroSense, a new people-centric paradigm for urban sensing at the edge of the Internet, at very large scale. We discuss a number of challenges, interactions and characteristics in urban sensing applications, and then present the MetroSense architecture which is based fundamentally on three design principles: network symbiosis, asymmetric design, and localized interaction. The ability of MetroSense to scale to very large areas is based on the use of an opportunistic sensor networking approach. Opportunistic sensor networking leverages mobility-enabled interactions and provides coordination between people-centric mobile sensors, static sensors and edge wireless access nodes in support of opportunistic sensing, opportunistic tasking, and opportunistic data collection. We discuss architectural challenges including providing sensing coverage with sparse mobile sensors, how to hand off roles and responsibilities between sensors, improving network performance and connectivity using adaptive multihop, and importantly, providing security and privacy for people-centric sensors and data.