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HERMES: A Software Architecture for Visibility and Control in Wireless Sensor Network Deployments

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5 Author(s)
Kothari, N. ; Southern California Univ., Los Angeles, CA ; Nagaraja, K. ; Raghunathan, V. ; Sultan, F.
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Designing reliable software for sensor networks is challenging because application developers have little visibility into, and understanding of the post-deployment behavior of code executing on resource constrained nodes in remote and ill-reproducible environments. To address this problem, this paper presents HERMES, a lightweight framework and prototype tool that provides fine-grained visibility and control of a sensor node's software at run-time. HERMES's architecture is based on the notion of interposition, which enables it to provide these properties in a minimally intrusive manner, without requiring any modification to software applications being observed and controlled. HERMES provides a general, extensible, and easy-to-use framework for specifying which software components to observe and control as well as when and how this observation and control is done. We have implemented and tested a fully functional prototype of HERMES for the SOS sensor operating system. Our performance evaluation, using real sensor nodes as well as cycle-accurate simulation, shows that HERMES successfully achieves its objective of providing fine-grained and dynamic visibility and control without incurring significant resource overheads. We demonstrate the utility and flexibility of HERMES by using our prototype to design, implement, and evaluate three case-studies: debugging and testing deployed sensor network applications, performing transparent software updates in sensor nodes, and implementing network traffic shaping and resource policing.

Published in:

Information Processing in Sensor Networks, 2008. IPSN '08. International Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-24 April 2008