Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Schmid and Dutta Win ACM 2010 HotEmNets Best Paper Award   Bookmark and Share

Thomas Schmid and Prabal Dutta

CSE Post Doctoral Researcher Thomas Schmid and Assistant Professor Prabal Dutta, and along with two collaborators from UCLA, have won the Best Paper Award at the 6th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Embedded Networked Sensors (HotEmNets 2010), which took place June 28 - 29, 2010, in Killarney, Ireland.

The paper, entitled "Disentangling Wireless Sensing from Mesh Networking," shows how the resource demands of today's wireless mesh networking stacks hinder the progress of low-cost, low-power wireless sensor nodes. Wireless sensor networks, or sensornets, force design compromises and unnecessary cost and complexity: optimizing wireless sensors means reducing costs, increasing lifetimes, and locating sensors close to the action, but adding mesh networking functions like IP routing and forwarding increases RAM and ROM requirements and demands substantial idle listening to forward others' traffic, all of which adds cost and increases power draw.

The authors argue that an architectural separation between sensor and router, similar to what ZigBee and traditional IP networks advocate, would allow each node class to be better optimized to the task, matched to technology trends, and aligned with deployment patterns. Although trivial to implement on current platforms, for example by turning off router advertisements in an IPv6/6LoWPAN stack, reaping the full benefits of this approach requires evolving platform designs and revisiting the link and network layers of the stack. The authors examine the resulting implications on the system architecture.

Dr. Schmid's research interests involve the hardware/software boundary and its impact on energy consumption, including software radios, large scale sensing system architectures, and networking, with a focus on wireless embedded systems. His work and collaboration has won several awards including a DAC Student Design Competition and three best paper awards at SenSys, WUWNet, and IPSN respectively. He is currently funded by a Fellowship for Prospective Researchers from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Prof. Dutta's research interests straddle the hardware/software interface and include systems, networking, and architecture. Recent focus areas include energy management, wireless networking, and embedded systems. He is also interested in emerging mobile sensing, building-scale sensing, and healthcare applications that cut across all of these areas. He teaches classes in the Design of Microprocessor Based Systems and in Wireless Sensor Networks, and serves on a number of program committees and editorial boards.

Posted: July 7, 2010