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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Infrastructureless Location Aware Configuration for Sensor Networks and the Follow-Me Application


The Follow-me application is a sensor network based active visitor guidance system. It is easy-to-deploy and self-configurable. In the system, sensor nodes with LEDs and buttons are deployed throughout a building, one on the wall at each office doorway. They blink lights to indicate a path through the building, guiding a visitor with a "breadcrumb trail" to the destination. The most important aspect of the follow-me application is location-aware configuration. GPS and similar systems determine location today, but they require substantial infrastructure in the environment or on sensor nodes to locate nodes in a physical coordinate system. For many applications, logical location - the relationship of nodes with each other and their environment - can be more important than physical location. For example, distance along a road and presence of intersections may be more relevant than Euclidean coordinates for applications that track or guide drivers. We developed deployment order, a new algorithm to configure logical location in a sensor network. Deployment order exploits node deployment patterns and simple user interactions to define logical topologies in a completely distributed manner with little human input.

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