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Significance

  1. Novel, original, innovative, pioneering, etc.

    Novel aspects of this research include (1) wireless sensor network technology in which each sensor node’s role can be customized to trigger in response to its environment and user demand according to a “scenario” defined by the user, and (2) technology that provides real-time display of required information, in sufficient quantity, according to the user’s demand.
    In the former case (1), Reference [6] described in “Situation of Relevant Research and Development”, proposed a limited role assignment method for sensor nodes. However, to the best of the applicant’s knowledge, there no other reports indicate that this has been achieved in a functional system. If this technology is realized, we can quickly construct a needs-based WSN by updating the “scenario” that is responsive to the situation of the site being monitored. Furthermore, as a function inherited from “die-hard sensor network” technology, dynamic sharing of roles can be performed across sensor nodes. Therefore, we can construct a “robust WSN that, even if some sensor nodes fail, will continue sensing and meet user demands as a whole system because other sensor nodes will assume the roles which were played by the broken sensor nodes.” This means that even when applied to harsh environments as disaster sites, we can construct a WSN that continues to correctly perform without the need for detailed adjustments or on-site maintenance.
    In the latter case (2), it features technology that actively acquires data, mashes it up in the network and provides it to the user. There are some methods, such as P2P-related technology, which may be used when searching for a resource in the network that does not require the use of a directory service to obtain the desired data. However, with these methods the search key itself, such as a file name supplied by the user, is comparatively simple. In our research, we can generate a more advanced search function, without complications for the user, by creating a mechanism that expands more complicated demands into simple ones. An additional novel aspect is that, in conjunction with previously mentioned wireless sensor network technology, the sensor nodes’ roles are dynamically changed and a series of operations are automatically carried out to actively acquire sensing data that satisfies the user’s demand. Furthermore, in our research, the network router mashes up differently formatted data that has been simultaneously acquired from two or more systems via data transfer; a function usually carried out at a server or terminal. This allows large-scale data to be handled without imposing a burden on the terminal. Also, should additional data mash-up be required, it can be provided simply by updating the network software without requiring an update of the user’s software. This is a significant benefit when it comes to construction of a large-scale network. Additionally, to the best of our knowledge, no other concrete concepts exist which merge the two above-mentioned functions; whereby sensing is actively carried out according to user demand. Therefore, this is a proposition for new construction and operation methods of a sensor network.

  2. Ripple effect on relevant fields

    Current sensor network technology has focused on data collection methods that unilaterally provide sensor data to the user. In the approach taken with our research, the entire system’s operation is driven by active user demands for sensing data; the opposite of conventional concepts. We wish to promote this as a new model for the construction of practical, large-scale sensor networks. Moreover, functionality allowing customization of system operation by transmitting operation scenarios into the sensor network make it possible for a single sensor network system to be shared in terms or response time between varying applications. This means that our technology will be able to provide the widely deployed sensor network systems as a large-integrated shared infrastructure to develop ubiquitous computing services.