Reconstruct Sensor Network Dynamics with Passive Monitoring

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

Last updated April 24, 2008

Introduction

LiveNet is a set of tools and analysis methods for reconstructing the complex behavior of a deployed sensor network. LiveNet is based on the use of multiple passive packet sniffers co-located with the network, which collect packet traces that are merged to form a global picture of the network's operation. The merged trace can be used to reconstruct critical aspects of the network's operation that cannot be observed from a single vantage point or with simple application-level instrumentation. We address several challenges: merging multiple sniffer traces, determining sniffer coverage, and inference of missing information for routing path reconstruction. We perform a detailed validation of LiveNet's accuracy and coverage using a 184-node sensor network testbed, and present results from a real-world deployment involving physiological monitoring of patients during a disaster drill. Our results show that LiveNet is able to accurately reconstruct network topology, determine bandwidth usage and routing paths, identify hot-spot nodes, and disambiguate sources of packet loss observed at the application level.

Packet traffic breakdown analysis.

Papers, Slides, and Photographs

Disaster Drill Deployment, August 2006:

  • Deployment photographs
  • LiveNet: Using Passive Monitoring to Reconstruct Sensor Network Dynamics, Bor-rong Chen, Geoffrey Peterson, Geoff Mainland and Matt Welsh. To appear in Proceedings of the 4th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems (DCOSS 2008), Santorini Island, Greece, June 2008.(pdf)

Software Release

livenet-v0.9.tar.gz

Data Release

Traces collected at disaster drill in August 2006. Available upon request.

People

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