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Computer Science Colloquia

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Qiang Li
Advisor: John Stankovic
Attending Faculty: Kamin Whitehouse (Chair), John Lach, Sang Son, and Gabriel Robins.

Olsson Hall, Room 228E, 2:00 PM

Ph.D. Defense Presentation
Reliable Multi-Body, Multi-Function Body Sensor Networks


With the cost of health care increasing, Body Sensor Networks (BSNs) have been proposed to provide low-cost health care solutions for the senior population. Reliability is essential for BSNs because they are mainly used for medical purposes such as detecting health-detrimental accidents and monitoring health status. The reliability of BSNs is twofold: reliable communication and reliable application. The former focuses on data collection, while the latter focuses on data processing. Though existing work studies some of the reliability issues, the state of art lacks systematic approaches to implement reliable BSNs, especially when multiple BSNs coexist.
Therefore, in this thesis we systematically study how to develop reliable multi-body, multi-function BSNs. First, we perform a comprehensive empirical study to investigate the challenges for developing reliable BSNs. Then, we propose a layered framework for BSNs to tackle the challenges. The framework contains four layers: physical layer, MAC layer, transport layer, and application layer. The first three layers provide an control interface to the application layer, so that each application can configure the components of the first three layers to achieve reliable communication. At last, we develop two representative BSN applications, fall detection (accident detection) and social activity detection (health monitoring), to study how to develop reliable BSN applications.
After finishing the thesis, we expect to accomplish a framework for developing reliable multi-body, multi-function BSNs in both communication level and application level, and to implement a BSN system that detects falls and monitors social activities using the framework.