Recent advances in the technology of wireless electronic devices have made possible to build adâ€“hoc Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) using inexpensive nodes, consisting of lowâ€“power processors, a modest amount of memory, and simple wireless transceivers. Over the last years, many novel applications have been envisaged for distributed WSNs in the area of monitoring, communication, and control. Sensing and controlling the environment by using many embedded devices forming a WSN often require the measured physical parameters to be associated with the position of the sensing device. As a consequence, one of the key enabling and indispensable services in WSNs is localization (i.e., positioning). Moreover, the design of various components of the protocol stack (e.g., routing and Medium Access Control, MAC, algorithms) might take advantage of nodesâ€™ location, thus resulting in WSNs with improved performance. However, typical protocol design methodologies have shown signiï¬cant limitations when applied to the ï¬eld of embedded systems, like WSNs. As a matter of fact, the layered nature of typical design approaches limits their practical usefulness for the design of WSNs, where any vertical information (like, e.g., the actual nodeâ€™s position) should be efï¬ciently shared in such resource constrained devices. Among the proposed solutions to address this problem, we believe that the Platformâ€“Based Design (PBD) approach Sangiovanni-Vincentelli (2002), which is a relatively new methodology for the design of embedded systems, is a very promising paradigm for the efï¬cient design of WSNs.
Part of the book: Wireless Sensor Networks