ICSE 2013 Workshops
2013 35th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE)
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2013 4th International Workshop on Software Engineering for Sensor Network Applications (SESENA), May 21, 2013, San Francisco, CA, USA

SESENA 2013 – Proceedings

Contents - Abstracts - Authors

4th International Workshop on Software Engineering for Sensor Network Applications (SESENA)


Title Page

By acting as the interface between digital and physical worlds, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) represent a fundamental building block of the upcoming Internet of Things and a key enabler for Cyber-Physical and Pervasive Computing Systems. Despite the interest raised by this decade-old research topic, the development of WSN software is still carried out in a rather primitive fashion, by building software directly atop the operating system and by relying on an individual's hard-earned programming skills. WSN developers must face not only the functional application requirements but also a number of challenging, non-functional requirements and constraints resulting from scarce resources. The heterogeneity of network nodes, the unpredictable environmental influences, and the large size of the network further add to the difficulties. In the WSN community, there is a growing awareness of the need for methodologies, techniques, and abstractions that simplify development tasks and increase the confidence in the correctness and performance of the resulting software. Software engineering (SE) support is therefore sought, not only to ease the development task but also to make it more reliable, dependable, and repeatable. Nevertheless, this topic has received so far very little attention by the SE community.

Symphony: Simulation, Emulation, and Virtualization Framework for Accurate WSN Experimentation
Laurynas Riliskis and Evgeny Osipov
(Luleå University of Technology, Sweden)
We have developed a simulation framework for testing and validation of WSN applications which closely resembles processes happening inside real equipment including hardware and software induced delays. The core of the framework consists of a virtualized operating system and an emulated hardware platform integrated with a general purpose network simulator ns-3. Besides an ability of experimenting with the real code base as in the real deployments our framework allows testing the boundary effects of different hardware components on the performance of distributed applications and protocols. All in all the presented framework allows to substantially shorten the development cycle of WSN applications.

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LWiSSy: A Domain Specific Language to Model Wireless Sensor and Actuators Network Systems
Priscilla Dantas, Taniro Rodrigues, Thais Batista, Flávia C. Delicato, Paulo F. Pires, Wei Li, and Albert Y. Zomaya
(UFRN, Brazil; UFRJ, Brazil; University of Sydney, Australia)
Wireless sensor and actuator network systems (WSAN) are built on a broad range of sensor platforms and low level programming languages. Such systems are potentially useful for a myriad of applications, from different domains. Thus, developers need to deal with details of different platforms and programming abstractions of sensor operational systems, and they also need to have specific knowledge on the distinct domains. In this context, we propose LWiSSy, a domain specific language (DSL) to model WSAN systems whose main goals are to allow (i) domain experts to directly contribute in the development of WSANs without having knowledge on low level sensor platforms, and (ii) network experts to program sensor nodes to meet application needs without having specific knowledge on the application domain. We describe how to develop WSAN systems using LWiSSy and analyze the impact of its usage through an experiment.

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Behavioural Design of Sensor Network Applications using Activity-Driven States
Amir Taherkordi, Frank Eliassen, and Einar Broch Johnsen
(University of Oslo, Norway)
The challenge of designing and programming Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) applications has gained increasing attention in recent years. While most existing programming models for WSNs share the same goal of improving software modularity, there exists a gap between the structural software design patterns offered by them and the high-level description of system components. The gap has appeared due to the lack of a software design solution that can model the unique behavioural and dynamic aspects of WSN software, e.g., activities, states, timed operations, and event-driven control flow. In this paper, we present a behavioural design solution for sensor networks based on the principles of finite automata, abstracting the complicated dynamic aspects of WSN software systems through the concept of activity-driven states. This promises a design model which effectively fills the above gap and provides the programmer with concrete design elements that can be directly mapped to the constructs of target programming languages. Moreover, it allows more accurate verification and validation of software systems for WSNs by precisely formulating their behavioural elements.

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Durin: A Development Environment for Wireless Sensor Network
Igor L. Marques, Mauro Ricardo da Silva Teófilo, and Nelson Souto Rosa
(UFPE, Brazil; Nokia Institute of Technology, Brazil)
The applications for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) have simple functional requirements, which basically consist of reading the sensors, and sending the read data to the application. However, when non-functional requirements are taken into account, developers of applications for WSN have to deal with such requirements as: restrictions on the consumption of energy, dynamic applications update due to poor performance or unexpected behavior, dynamism in network topology, scalability, robustness, QoS, heterogeneous hardware sensors and limited bandwidth. All these constraints turn the creation of an application into no trivial task. With that in mind, the purpose of this paper is to present a development environment for WSN to improve developer productivity. The Durin development environment is composed of: TinyReef, a designed virtual machine (VM) for WSN; a compiler for cited VM instructions; and a Remote Application Manager. The main contribution of Durin is to provide an environment to support the development, maintenance and deployment of applications for WSN, enabling remote application updates of sensor node hardware.

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Adding Value to WSN Simulation through Formal Modelling and Analysis
Adisak Intana, Michael R. Poppleton, and Geoff V. Merrett
(University of Southampton, UK)
Reliable verification and validation techniques are essential to the development of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) in safety-critical domains. This paper proposes a hybrid verification and validation approach integrating formal methods and simulation to increase the quality of WSN development. Simulation, like model checking, can demonstrate the presence of faults but not guarantee their absence. Some classes of faults such as safety property breaches and certain liveness breaches can be proved absent by the use of formal models and theorem provers. Our case study work which combines simulation with formal modelling and verification in Event-B demonstrates this in an environmental application from the SensorScope project. MintRoute, together with S-MAC protocol, is simulated with connectivity failure scenarios using the MiXiM simulation tool. The work indicates the iterative interworking between the formal and simulation methods that we seek.

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VSPIN: A Framework for Developing Incremental Sensor Network Reprogramming Strategies
Biswajit Mazumder and Jason O. Hallstrom
(Clemson University, USA)
We present VSPIN, a framework for developing incremental code update mechanisms to support efficient reprogramming of wireless sensor networks. The presentation emphasizes the supporting framework rather than the reprogramming mechanisms themselves. Concretely, VSPIN provides a modular testing platform on a host desktop system to plug-in and evaluate various incremental code update algorithms. The framework supports Avrdude, among the most popular programming tools for AVR microcontrollers.
VSPIN consists of a virtual serial port device driver which executes in Linux kernel space, a user space component, and a corresponding boot loader which executes on the sensing (microcontroller) core. The framework is tailored for AVR microcontrollers, which support in-system reprogramming of on-chip flash memory through a serial interface (SPI or UART). On the host side, VSPIN can function with wireless communication devices (802.11b/g/n or 802.15.4), or wired communication devices which expose a serial device interface on the Linux platform (RS-232 or USB). We describe the overall architecture and detail the individual components of VSPIN. The development of VSPIN is the first such attempt to facilitate ease of development, testing, and use of incremental code update algorithms for efficient network reprogramming.

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Runtime Verification and Reflection for Wireless Sensor Networks
Stefan Fischer and Martin Leucker
(University of Lübeck, Germany)
The paper proposes to re-visit a light-weight verification technique called runtime verification in the context of wireless sensor networks. The authors believe that especially an extension of runtime verification which is called runtime reflection and which is not only able to detect faults, but diagnose and even repair them, can be an important step towards robust, self-organizing and self-healing WSNs. They present the basic idea of runtime reflection and possible applications.

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Sens4U: Wireless Sensor Network Applications for Environment Monitoring Made Easy
Krzysztof Piotrowski and Steffen Peter
(IHP Microelectronics, Germany; UC Irvine, USA)
The development of wireless sensor network (WSN) or cyber physical systems (CPS) applications is a complex and error prone task. This is due to the huge number of possible combinations of protocols and other software modules, to choose from. Additionally, testing of the chosen configuration and the individual software modules is not a trivial task, especially in case where they are all implemented from scratch. The aim of the Sens4U methodology we present in this paper is to simplify and possibly automate the process of building a WSN application and to simplify its testing. The main idea of our approach is to exploit the modularity of the available libraries in order to speed-up application development done by non-WSN-experts and to solve the real-life problems. The proposed abstraction is very powerful--the modules provide specific functionalities via defined interfaces and can be connected using these according to the application requirements, to create the desired and minimum target configuration. The modularity improves the testability and reuse of components and thus, their reliability and, as a result, the reliability of the target configurations. Further, the Sens4U approach goes beyond pure software generation and supports creating software and hardware configurations. We are currently focusing on environment monitoring scenarios in order to analyze this problem area in the semi-automatic computer aided application logic generalization process. This paper presents the general concept as well as the tool chain that supports the application development done by non-WSN-experts.

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Model-Driven Approach for Building Efficient Wireless Sensor and Actuator Network Applications
Taniro Rodrigues, Thais Batista, Flávia C. Delicato, Paulo F. Pires, and Albert Y. Zomaya
(UFRN, Brazil; UFRJ, Brazil; University of Sydney, Australia)
The research on Wireless Sensor and Actuator Networks (WSAN) has evolved with applications in several domains. However, WSAN application development is hampered by the need of programming in low-level abstractions provided by sensor operation systems and the need of having specific knowledge about both the application domain and the sensor platform. The high coupling between application code and sensor platforms, combined with a lack of methodology to support the application development cycle, results in platform-dependent projects that are difficult to maintain, modify, and reuse. To cope with this issue, we propose an MDA approach for developing WSAN applications. Our proposal allows Domain Experts to directly contribute during development using their application-level knowledge; at the same time it allows Network Experts to program WSAN nodes using their network-level knowledge while meeting application functional and non-functional requirements, closing the gap between the two expertise levels.

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