COOJA and Testbed Federation/TWIST growing together

Two COOJA plugins and manuals have been published to integrate the TWIST testbed in COOJA and to take checkpoints and perform rollbacks both in TWIST and COOJA.

Call for Papers: CONET/UBICITEC 2013

The 4th International Workshop on Networks of Cooperating Objects for Smart Cities 2013 (CONET/UBICITEC 2013), colocated with CPSWeek 2013, accepts submissions until January 28th, 2013.

Newsletter issue #19

The 19th CONET newsletter has been published. You can read on Virtual Organizations for Multi-Model Based Embedded Systems and on the UvA Bird Tracking System.

Deployment and Management of Cooperating Objects

Partners Involved

The DMCO cluster involves 17 members (8 associated):

  • Cluster leader: SICS
  • Associated members: FBK, IPB, SUPSI, TUT, UBONN, UCC, UNITN, UZL

Problem and Objectives

Based on the current state of the art, we observe a clear discrepancy between the expected and actual performance of systems of cooperating objects. This includes issues such as poor data yield, short system lifetime, and partial or complete failure. We identified two primary reasons at the origin of these issues:

  • systems of cooperating objects are deeply embedded within the environment: the dynamics in real-world settings are generally unpredictable and difficult to simulate or replicate;
  • devices employed in systems of cooperating objects are severely constrained: it is thus difficult to acquire the necessary visibility into the system state and operation.

The objective of the DMCO cluster is the development of a comprehensive framework (both at the conceptual level and with respect to concrete tools) to simplify the deployment and management of systems of cooperating objects.


To tackle the issues above, we aim at leveraging collaborations with domain experts and real-world experience, as intuitively shown in the following figure.

In collaboration with domain-experts, we gather real-world requirements in scenarios where systems of cooperating objects are to be deployed. Based on these, we develop a range of concepts and tools to simplify deployment and management. These cover all aspects involved, from the design to the implementation, optimization, and validation of the system.  We test our solutions in real-world scenarios, and ask domain experts to provide feedback on the extent to which the system meets their requirement. We finally use this information to feed subsequent development iterations.

Activity Overview and Highlights

The research activities within the cluster are articulated within a framework spanning different stages of deployment and management. The framework is the result of a collaboration between DMCO and the FP7 project PLANET through DMCO member UDE, and is illustrated in the following picture. Specific information on the various research activities can be found next.


In the initial planning stage, we provide solutions targeting the activities prior to the actual deployment. This includes the gathering and analysis of the requirements at stake, the initial coarse-grained system design, the study of the characteristics of the deployment environment, and initial performance estimations. For instance, in this context we are active in modeling the behavior of modern batteries, as cooperating objects are intended to operate autonomously, aiming at understanding and possibly taking advantage of peculiar discharge patterns.  


In view of the deployment stage, users need to carefully plan the network layout to meet a range of requirements, e.g., in terms of communication reliability. In this context, the cluster is active in the area of deployment strategies. For instance, we are designing tools to assess the overall network connectivity and algorithms to decide on the placement of nodes to meet high-level connectivity requirements, such as a minimum number of redundant paths between given nodes. This is naturally complemented by work on the use of mobile cooperating objects (e.g., aerial vehicles) for automated deployment.


Based on the initial design, users implement the necessary functionality. To this end, we are working in the design and implementation of dedicated programming paradigms, with the objective is to ease the development activity for programmers of cooperating objects. We target very diverse level of abstractions, ranging from thread-to-event automatic translation at the operating system level to the use of service-oriented architectures (SOAs) for the coordination of cooperating objects.


Validation and optimization of the system design is fundamental before reaching the deployment stage. In this area, we are particularly investigating to what extent common assumptions in the state of the art match the characteristics of real-world scenarios. To assess these aspects, we are working on the analysis of connectivity traces obtained from real-world deployments to extract link quality characteristics, and on the controlled generation of interference patterns to test the protocols in realistic conditions.


We test the solutions devised within the cluster in a number of on-site deployments. These represent a unique asset, in that they also allow us to gather precious feedback from domain experts. The scenarios at stake are very diverse, enabling a thorough assessment of our solutions, and include adaptive lighting in operational road tunnels (a closed loop system), rescue team support in disaster maneuvers (a system including both static and mobile cooperating objects) and ambient assisted living (encompassing highly heterogenous devices).  


Following the first deployment, there is the need to diagnose and heal possible issues arising once the system is put in operation. We are thus working in the area of performance evaluation and debugging. Examples are works on visibility levels to allow programmers to trade resources for state information, and on performance debugging in time-critical networks.


The cluster has produced a number of scientific papers and prototype implementations. The complete list of research contributions can be found on the CONET publication page. Some examples, referring to some of the research activities exemplified above, are:

  • A. Bernauer, K. Römer, S. Santini, J. Ma. "Threads2Events: An Automatic Code Generation Approach". ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Embedded Networked Sensing (HotEmNets), 2010.
  • J. Ma, K. Römer. "Visibility Levels: Managing the Tradeoff between Visibility and Resource Consumption". Workshop on Real-World Issues of Wireless Sensor Networks (REALWSN), 2010. (ETHZ, UZL)
  • M. Ceriotti, M. Corrà, L. D'Orazio, R. Doriguzzi, D. Facchin, S. Guna, G.P. Jesi, R. Lo Cigno, L. Mottola, A.L. Murphy, M Pescalli, G.P. Picco, D. Pregnolato, C. Torghele. "Is There Light at the Ends of the Tunnel? Wireless Sensor Networks for Adaptive Lighting in Road Tunnels". ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN, SPOTS Track), 2011. Best paper award.
  • M. Ceriotti, M.  Chini, A. L. Murphy, G.P. Picco, F. Cagnacci, and B. Tolhurst. "Motes in the Jungle: Lessons Learned from a Short-term WSN Deployment in the Ecuador Cloud Forest". International Workshop on Real-World Wireless Sensor Networks (RealWSN), 2010. 
  • L. Mottola, G.P. Picco. "Programming Wireless Sensor Networks: Fundamental Concepts and State-of-the-Art".  ACM Computing Surveys, vol. 43, no. 3, April 2011. 
  • L. Mottola, G.P. Picco, M. Ceriotti, S. Guna, and A.L. Murphy. "Not All Wireless Sensor Networks Are Created Equal: A Comparative Study On Tunnels". ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks (TOSN), vol 7, no 2. 2011.
  • J. M. Mendes, P. Leitão, F. Restivo, A.W. Colombo. “Process Optimization of Service-Oriented Automation Devices Based on Petri Nets”. IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics (INDIN). 2010.
  • S. Karnouskos, P. Goncalves da Silva, and D. Ilic. "Assessment of high-performance smart metering for the web service enabled smart grid”. ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering (ICPE). 2010.
  • R. Sauter, O. Saukh, O. Frietsch and P. J. Marrón. "TinyLTS: Efficient Network-Wide Logging and Tracing System for TinyOS". IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM11), 2011. 
  • C. Boano, T. Voigt, C. Noda, K. Römer, and M. Zuniga. “Augmenting Sensornet Testbeds with Realistic and Controlled Interference Generation”. ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN, SPOTS Track), 2011. Best paper candidate.
  • J. Brown, B. McCarthy, U. Roedig, T. Voigt, and C. Sreenan. “BurstProbe: Debugging Time-critical Data Delivery in Wireless Sensor Networks”. In European Wireless Sensor Network Conference (EWSN), 2011. 

 For more information on the DMCO cluster, please refer to Luca Mottola.