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Unformatted text preview: The Emergence of Networking Abstractions and Techniques in TinyOS Philip Levis , Sam Madden ? , David Gay , Joseph Polastre , Robert Szewczyk , Alec Woo , Eric Brewer and David Culler EECS Department Intel Research Berkeley ? CSAIL University of California, Berkeley 2150 Shattuck Avenue MIT Berkeley, California 94720 Berkeley, California 94704 Cambridge, MA 02139 Abstract The constraints of sensor networks, an emerging area of network research, require new approaches in system de- sign. We study the evolution of abstractions and tech- niques in TinyOS, a popular sensor network operating system. Examining CVS repositories of several research institutions that use TinyOS, we trace three areas of de- velopment: single-hop networking, multi-hop network- ing, and network services. We note common techniques and draw conclusions on the emerging abstractions as well as the novel constraints that have shaped them. 1. INTRODUCTION Networked systems of small, often battery-powered embedded computers, referred to as EmNets in a recent NRC report , are touted as a revolution in Informa- tion Technology with the potential to change radically the way people interact with their environment by link- ing together a range of devices and sensors that will al- low information to be collected, shared, and processed in unprecedented ways. They are also seen as requiring a dramatically new approach to network system design: EmNets are more than simply the next step in the evolution of the personal computer or the Internet. Building on developments in both areas, EmNets will also be operating under a set of constraints that will demand more than merely incremental improvements to more tra- ditional networking and information technol- ogy.  Networking issues are at the core of the design of em- bedded sensor networks because radio communication listening, receiving, and transmitting dominates the en- ergy budget, defining the lifetime of a deployed system. Much of the research in this area has been based on the TinyOS operating system, created at UC Berkeley , but now a public Sourceforge project including many other groups. In the three years since TinyOSs intro- duction, it has been used by many research groups to address various aspects of EmNet design. Most of this work is available in the open, making it possible to exam- ine the new system structures that have emerged and the common techniques that they exploit. Are they, in fact, substantially different from general purpose systems? To begin to answer this question, this paper draws on our own experience building TinyOS, TinyDB and other applications as well as a study of development repre- sented by the CVS trees of several other research groups (CMU, UCLA, USC, UIUC, UVA, and Vanderbilt). An appendix contains the list of the sources used to collect this data. We look in particular at code evolution through several generations of hardware platforms, OS releases,...
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This note was uploaded on 08/25/2011 for the course EEL 5937 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Central Florida.
- Spring '08