Section: Research Program

Acting on the environment

The conceptual tools we aim to study must be frugal: they use as less as possible resources, while having the possibility to use much more when it is required. Data needed by an application are not made available for "free"; for example, it costs energy to measure a characteristic of the environment, or to transmit it. So this "design frugality" requires a fine-grained control on how data is actually collected from the environment. The third research axis aims at designing solutions that give this control to application developers by acting on the environment.

Acting on the data collection. We want to be able to identify which information are reality needed during the perception elaboration process. If a piece of data is missing to build a given information with the appropriate quality level, the data collection mechanism should find relevant information in the environment or modify the way it aggregate it. These could lead to a modification of the behavior of the network layer and the path the piece of data use in the aggregation process.

Acting on object interactions. Object in the environment could adapt their behavior in a way that strongly depend on the object itself and that is difficult to generalize. Beyond the specific behaviors of actuators triggered through specialized or standard interfaces, the production of information required by an application could necessitate an adaptation at the object level (eg. calibration, sampling). The environment should then be able to initiate such adaption transparently to the application, which may not know all objects it passes by.

Adapting object behaviors. The radio communication layers become more flexible and able to adapt the way they use energy to what is really required for a given transmission. We already study how beamforming technics could be used to adapt multicast strategy for video services. We want to show how playing with these new parameters of transmissions (eg. beamforming, power, ...) allows to control spatial relationships objects could have. There is a tradeoff to find between the capacity of the medium, the electromagnetic pollution and the reactivity of the environment. We plan to expend our previous on interface selection and more generally on what we call opportunistic networking.