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Infrastructure for Engineered Emergence on Sensor/Actuator Networks
March/April 2006 (vol. 21 no. 2)
pp. 10-19
Jacob Beal, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Jonathan Bachrach, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

The ability to control emergent phenomena depends on decomposing them into aspects susceptible to independent engineering. The amorphous medium abstraction separates what behavior is desired on a continuous space and how the behavior is implemented on a sensor/actuator network approximating the space. The Proto language allows the composition of self-organizing primitives on an amorphous medium. This approach thus separates the engineering problem into three components: a discrete kernel to emulate an amorphous medium and distribute code, a Proto compiler, and implementations of high-level coordination and homeostasis primitives. Such separation allows simple, concise expression of programs controlling spatial behaviors. Using an implementation of this framework, researchers have written programs that they verified both in simulation on more than 10,000 nodes and on a network of Mica2 motes.

This article is part of the special issue on Self-Managing Systems.

Index Terms:
wireless sensor networks; concurrent, distributed, and parallel languages; distributed systems; dataflow languages
Citation:
Jacob Beal, Jonathan Bachrach, "Infrastructure for Engineered Emergence on Sensor/Actuator Networks," IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 10-19, March-April 2006, doi:10.1109/MIS.2006.29
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