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J. Sens. Actuator Netw., Volume 13, Issue 2 (April 2024) – 10 articles

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22 pages, 5028 KiB  
Article
Level-Crossing Characteristics of an Actively Managed Buffer
by Andrzej Chydzinski
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2024, 13(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan13020028 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 91
Abstract
In this paper, we examine a buffer with active management that rejects packets basing on the buffer occupancy. Specifically, we derive several metrics characterizing how effectively the algorithm can prevent the queue of packets from becoming too long and how well it assists [...] Read more.
In this paper, we examine a buffer with active management that rejects packets basing on the buffer occupancy. Specifically, we derive several metrics characterizing how effectively the algorithm can prevent the queue of packets from becoming too long and how well it assists in flushing the buffer quickly when necessary. First, we compute the probability that the size of the queue is kept below a predefined level L. Second, we calculate the distribution of the amount of time needed to cross level L, the buffer overflow probability, and the average time to buffer overflow. Third, we derive the distribution of the amount of time required to flush the buffer and its average value. A general modeling framework is used in derivations, with a general service time distribution, general rejection function, and a powerful model of the arrival process. The obtained formulas enable, among other things, the solving of many design problems, e.g., those connected with the design of wireless sensor nodes using the N-policy. Several numerical results are provided, including examples of design problems and other calculations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Communications and Networking)
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15 pages, 4914 KiB  
Article
Closed-Loop Optical Tracking of a Micro-Conveyor over a Smart Surface
by Saly Malak, Hani Al Hajjar, Erwan Dupont, Muneeb-Ullah Khan, Christine Prelle and Frederic Lamarque
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2024, 13(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan13020027 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 164
Abstract
In this work, a closed loop control system is developed to optically localize and track micro-robots with high precision. These micro-robots (i.e., micro-conveyors) are in motion simultaneously across a smart surface.The developed method’s primary objectives are to optimize their trajectories, avoid collisions between [...] Read more.
In this work, a closed loop control system is developed to optically localize and track micro-robots with high precision. These micro-robots (i.e., micro-conveyors) are in motion simultaneously across a smart surface.The developed method’s primary objectives are to optimize their trajectories, avoid collisions between them, and control their position with micrometric resolution. This article presents and characterizes the tracking of a single micro-conveyor, and the method works similarly when multiple micro-robots move over the surface. Our tracking method starts with a scanning phase, where a 2D steering mirror, placed above the smart surface, reflects a laser beam toward the conveying surface seeking for the target. Localization occurs when this light beam reaches the micro-conveyor. By adding a retro-reflective element, that reflects the light in the same direction of the the incident light, onto the surface of the micro-conveyor, the light will be reflected towards a photodetector. Depending on the feedback from the photodetector, the steering mirror rotates to track the trajectory of the micro-conveyor. The tip-tilt angular values of the steering mirror allows the micro-conveyor position to be obtained via calibrated localization system. The aim of this work is to regulate the micro-conveyor, within a closed-loop control system, to reduce the positional error between the actual and desired position. The actual position value is measured in real-time application using our developed optical sensor. Results for tracking in the x-and y-axis have validated the proposed method, with an average tracking error less than 30 µm within a range 150 mm × 150 mm. Full article
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32 pages, 684 KiB  
Review
A Survey on Life-Cycle-Oriented Certificate Management in Industrial Networking Environments
by Julian Göppert, Andreas Walz and Axel Sikora
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2024, 13(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan13020026 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 267
Abstract
Driven by the Industry 4.0 paradigm and the resulting demand for connectivity in industrial networking, there is a convergence of formerly isolated operational technology and information technology networks. This convergence leads to attack surfaces on industrial networks. Therefore, a holistic approach of countermeasures [...] Read more.
Driven by the Industry 4.0 paradigm and the resulting demand for connectivity in industrial networking, there is a convergence of formerly isolated operational technology and information technology networks. This convergence leads to attack surfaces on industrial networks. Therefore, a holistic approach of countermeasures is needed to protect against cyber attacks. One element of these countermeasures is the use of certificate-based authentication for industrial components communicating on the field level. This in turn requires the management of certificates, private keys, and trust anchors in the communication endpoints. The work at hand surveys the topic of certificate management in industrial networking environments throughout their life cycle, from manufacturing until their disposal. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, there is no work yet that surveys the topic of certificate management in industrial networking environments. The work at hand considers contributions from research papers, industrial communication standards, and contributions that originate from the IT domain. In total, 2042 results from IEEE Xplore, Science Direct, Scopus, and Springer Link were taken into account. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria and title, abstract, and full-text analysis, 20 contributions from research papers were selected. In addition to the presentation of their key contributions, the work at hand provides a synopsis that compares the overarching aspects. This comprises different proposed entity architectures, certificate management functions, involvement of different stakeholders, and consideration of life cycle stages. Finally, research gaps that are to be filled by further work are identified. While the topic of certificate management has already been addressed by the IT domain, its incorporation into industrial communication standards began significantly later and is still the subject of research work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Network Security and Privacy)
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21 pages, 2546 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Acceptance of a Mid-Air Gesture Syntax for Smart Space Interaction: An Empirical Study
by Ana M. Bernardos, Xian Wang, Luca Bergesio, Juan A. Besada and José R. Casar
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2024, 13(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan13020025 - 09 Apr 2024
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Mid-gesture interfaces have become popular for specific scenarios, such as interactions with augmented reality via head-mounted displays, specific controls over smartphones, or gaming platforms. This article explores the use of a location-aware mid-air gesture-based command triplet syntax to interact with a smart space. [...] Read more.
Mid-gesture interfaces have become popular for specific scenarios, such as interactions with augmented reality via head-mounted displays, specific controls over smartphones, or gaming platforms. This article explores the use of a location-aware mid-air gesture-based command triplet syntax to interact with a smart space. The syntax, inspired by human language, is built as a vocative case with an imperative structure. In a sentence like “Light, please switch on!”, the object being activated is invoked via making a gesture that mimics its initial letter/acronym (vocative, coincident with the sentence’s elliptical subject). A geometrical or directional gesture then identifies the action (imperative verb) and may include an object feature or a second object with which to network (complement), which also represented by the initial or acronym letter. Technically, an interpreter relying on a trainable multidevice gesture recognition layer makes the pair/triplet syntax decoding possible. The recognition layer works on acceleration and position input signals from graspable (smartphone) and free-hand devices (smartwatch and external depth cameras), as well as a specific compiler. On a specific deployment at a Living Lab facility, the syntax has been instantiated via the use of a lexicon derived from English (with respect to the initial letters and acronyms). A within-subject analysis with twelve users has enabled the analysis of the syntax acceptance (in terms of usability, gesture agreement for actions over objects, and social acceptance) and technology preference of the gesture syntax within its three device implementations (graspable, wearable, and device-free ones). Participants express consensus regarding the simplicity of learning the syntax and its potential effectiveness in managing smart resources. Socially, participants favoured the Watch for outdoor activities and the Phone for home and work settings, underscoring the importance of social context in technology design. The Phone emerged as the preferred option for gesture recognition due to its efficiency and familiarity. The system, which can be adapted to different sensing technologies, addresses the scalability concerns (as it can be easily extended for new objects and actions) and allows for personalised interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Machine-Environment Interaction, Volume II)
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24 pages, 7995 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Adaptive Impedance and Admittance Control Based on the Sensorless Estimation of Interaction Joint Torque for Exoskeletons: A Case Study of an Upper Limb Rehabilitation Robot
by Auwalu Muhammad Abdullahi, Ado Haruna and Ronnapee Chaichaowarat
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2024, 13(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan13020024 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 508
Abstract
Physiotherapy is the treatment to recover a patient’s mobility and limb function after an injury, illness, or disability. Rehabilitation robots can be used to replace human physiotherapists. To ensure safety during robot physical therapy, the patient’s limb needs to be controlled to track [...] Read more.
Physiotherapy is the treatment to recover a patient’s mobility and limb function after an injury, illness, or disability. Rehabilitation robots can be used to replace human physiotherapists. To ensure safety during robot physical therapy, the patient’s limb needs to be controlled to track a desired joint trajectory, and the torque due to interaction force/torque needs to be measured and regulated. Therefore, hybrid impedance and admittance with position control (HIPC) is required to track the trajectory and simultaneously regulate the contact torque. The literature describes two structures of HIPC: (1) a switched framework between admittance and impedance control operating in parallel (HIPCSW); and (2) a series connection between admittance and impedance control without switching. In this study, a hybrid adaptive impedance and position-based admittance control (HAIPC) in series is developed, which consists of a proportional derivative-based admittance position controller with gravitational torque compensation and an adaptive impedance controller. An extended state observer is used to estimate the interaction joint torque due to human stiff contact with the exoskeleton without the use of force/torque sensor, which is then used in the adaptive algorithm to update the stiffness and damping gains of the adaptive impedance controller. Simulation results obtained using MATLAB show that the proposed HAIPC significantly reduces the mean absolute values of the actuation torques (control inputs) required for the shoulder and elbow joints in comparison with HIPC and HIPCSW. Full article
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19 pages, 7146 KiB  
Article
Structured Data Ontology for AI in Industrial Asset Condition Monitoring
by Jacob Hendriks, Mana Azarm and Patrick Dumond
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2024, 13(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan13020023 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 431
Abstract
This paper proposes an ontology for prognostics and health management (PHM) applications involving sensor networks monitoring industrial machinery. Deep learning methods show promise for the development of autonomous PHM systems but require vast quantities of structured and representative data to realize their potential. [...] Read more.
This paper proposes an ontology for prognostics and health management (PHM) applications involving sensor networks monitoring industrial machinery. Deep learning methods show promise for the development of autonomous PHM systems but require vast quantities of structured and representative data to realize their potential. PHM systems involve unique and specialized data characterized by time and context, and thus benefit from tailored data management systems. Furthermore, the use of dissimilar standards and practices with respect to database structure and data organization is a hinderance to interoperability. To address this, this paper presents a robust, structured data ontology and schema that is designed to accommodate a wide breadth of PHM applications. The inclusion of contextual and temporal data increases its value for developing and deploying enhanced ML-driven PHM systems. Challenges around balancing the competing priorities of structure and flexibility are discussed. The proposed schema provides the benefits of a relational schema with some provisions for noSQL-like flexibility in areas where PMH applications demand it. The selection of a database engine for implementation is also discussed, and the proposed ontology is demonstrated using a Postgres database. An instance of the database was loaded with large auto-generated fictitious data via multiple Python scripts. CRUD (create, read, update, delete) operations are demonstrated with several queries that answer common PHM questions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fault Diagnosis in the Internet of Things Applications)
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41 pages, 11097 KiB  
Article
An Optimized Link State Routing Protocol with a Blockchain Framework for Efficient Video-Packet Transmission and Security over Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks
by Huda A. Ahmed and Hamid Ali Abed AL-Asadi
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2024, 13(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan13020022 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 762
Abstract
A mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) necessitates appropriate routing techniques to enable optimal data transfer. The selection of appropriate routing protocols while utilizing the default settings is required to solve the existing problems. To enable effective video streaming in MANETs, this study proposes a [...] Read more.
A mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) necessitates appropriate routing techniques to enable optimal data transfer. The selection of appropriate routing protocols while utilizing the default settings is required to solve the existing problems. To enable effective video streaming in MANETs, this study proposes a novel optimized link state routing (OLSR) protocol that incorporates a deep-learning model. Initially, the input videos are collected from the Kaggle dataset. Then, the black-hole node is detected using a novel twin-attention-based dense convolutional bidirectional gated network (SA_ DCBiGNet) model. Next, the neighboring nodes are analyzed using trust values, and routing is performed using the extended osprey-aided optimized link state routing protocol (EO_OLSRP) technique. Similarly, the extended osprey optimization algorithm (EOOA) selects the optimal feature based on parameters such as node stability and link stability. Finally, blockchain storage is included to improve the security of MANET data using interplanetary file system (IPFS) technology. Additionally, the proposed blockchain system is validated utilizing a consensus technique based on delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS). The proposed method utilizes Python and it is evaluated using data acquired from various mobile simulator models accompanied by the NS3 simulator. The proposed model performs better with a packet-delivery ratio (PDR) of 91.6%, average end delay (AED) of 23.6 s, and throughput of 2110 bytes when compared with the existing methods which have a PDR of 89.1%, AED of 22 s, and throughput of 1780 bytes, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Network Security and Privacy)
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27 pages, 1639 KiB  
Article
Veritas: Layer-2 Scaling Solution for Decentralized Oracles on Ethereum Blockchain with Reputation and Real-Time Considerations
by Moustafa Mowaffak Saad, Dalia Sobhy and Amani A. Saad
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2024, 13(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan13020021 - 07 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Blockchainsand smart contracts are pivotal in transforming interactions between systems and individuals, offering secure, immutable, and transparent trust-building mechanisms without central oversight. However, Smart Contracts face limitations due to their reliance on blockchain-contained data, a gap addressed by ’Oracles’. These bridges to external [...] Read more.
Blockchainsand smart contracts are pivotal in transforming interactions between systems and individuals, offering secure, immutable, and transparent trust-building mechanisms without central oversight. However, Smart Contracts face limitations due to their reliance on blockchain-contained data, a gap addressed by ’Oracles’. These bridges to external data sources introduce the ’Oracle problem’, where maintaining blockchain-like security and transparency becomes vital to prevent data integrity issues. This paper presents Veritas, a novel decentralized oracle system leveraging a layer-2 scaling solution, enhancing smart contracts’ efficiency and security on Ethereum blockchains. The proposed architecture, explored through simulation and experimental analyses, significantly reduces operational costs while maintaining robust security protocols. An innovative node selection process is also introduced to minimize the risk of malicious data entry, thereby reinforcing network security. Veritas offers a solution to the Oracle problem by aligning with blockchain principles of security and transparency, and demonstrates advancements in reducing operational costs and bolstering network integrity. While the study provides a promising direction, it also highlights potential areas for further exploration in blockchain technology and oracle system optimization. Full article
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60 pages, 2322 KiB  
Review
Interconnected Smart Transactive Microgrids—A Survey on Trading, Energy Management Systems, and Optimisation Approaches
by Ipeleng L. Machele, Adeiza J. Onumanyi, Adnan M. Abu-Mahfouz and Anish M. Kurien
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2024, 13(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan13020020 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
The deployment of isolated microgrids has witnessed exponential growth globally, especially in the light of prevailing challenges faced by many larger power grids. However, these isolated microgrids remain separate entities, thus limiting their potential to significantly impact and improve the stability, efficiency, and [...] Read more.
The deployment of isolated microgrids has witnessed exponential growth globally, especially in the light of prevailing challenges faced by many larger power grids. However, these isolated microgrids remain separate entities, thus limiting their potential to significantly impact and improve the stability, efficiency, and reliability of the broader electrical power system. Thus, to address this gap, the concept of interconnected smart transactive microgrids (ISTMGs) has arisen, facilitating the interconnection of these isolated microgrids, each with its unique attributes aimed at enhancing the performance of the broader power grid system. Furthermore, ISTMGs are expected to create more robust and resilient energy networks that enable innovative and efficient mechanisms for energy trading and sharing between individual microgrids and the centralized power grid. This paradigm shift has sparked a surge in research aimed at developing effective ISTMG networks and mechanisms. Thus, in this paper, we present a review of the current state-of-the-art in ISTMGs with a focus on energy trading, energy management systems (EMS), and optimization techniques for effective energy management in ISTMGs. We discuss various types of trading, architectures, platforms, and stakeholders involved in ISTMGs. We proceed to elucidate the suitable applications of EMS within such ISTMG frameworks, emphasizing its utility in various domains. This includes an examination of optimization tools and methodologies for deploying EMS in ISTMGs. Subsequently, we conduct an analysis of current techniques and their constraints, and delineate prospects for future research to advance the establishment and utilization of ISTMGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Network Services and Applications)
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17 pages, 3048 KiB  
Article
Low-Cost Internet of Things Solution for Building Information Modeling Level 3B—Monitoring, Analysis and Management
by Andrzej Szymon Borkowski
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2024, 13(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan13020019 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 811
Abstract
The integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) is progressing. The use of microcontrollers and sensors in buildings is described as a level 3B maturity in the use of BIM. Design companies, contractors and building operators can use [...] Read more.
The integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) is progressing. The use of microcontrollers and sensors in buildings is described as a level 3B maturity in the use of BIM. Design companies, contractors and building operators can use IoT solutions to monitor, analyze or manage processes. As a rule, solutions based on original Arduino boards are quite an expensive investment. The aim of this research was to find a low-cost IoT solution for monitoring, analysis and management, and integrate it with a BIM model. In the present study, an inexpensive NodeMCU microcontroller and a temperature and pressure sensor were used to study the thermal comfort of users in a single-family home. During the summer season, analysis of the monitored temperature can contribute to installation (HVAC) or retrofit work (for energy efficiency). The article presents a low-cost solution for studying the thermal comfort of users using a digital twin built-in BIM. Data obtained from sensors can support both the design and management processes. The main contribution of the article enables the design, construction and use of low-cost circuits (15.57 USD) even in small developments (single-family houses, semi-detached houses, terraced houses, atrium buildings). Combining IoT sensor telemetry with BIM (maturity level 3C) is a challenge that organizations will face in the near future. Full article
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