Data Management in Ad-Hoc Geosensor Networks

NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award (NSF CAREER award) (2005-2010)


Principal Investigator:

Silvia Nittel

Academic Institution:

  Dept. of Spatial Information Engineering, University of Maine 


This project explores data management methods for geosensor networks, i.e. large collections of very small, battery-driven sensor nodes deployed in the geographic environment that measure the temporal and spatial variations of physical quantities such as temperature or ozone levels. An important  task of such geosensor networks is to collect, analyze and  estimate information about continuous phenomena under observation such as a toxic cloud close to a chemical plant in real-time and in an energy-efficient way. The main thrust of this project is the integration of spatial data analysis techniques with in-network data query execution in sensor networks. The project investigates novel algorithms such as incremental, in-network kriging that redefines a traditional, highly computationally-intensive spatial data estimation method for a distributed, collaborative and incremental processing between tiny, energy and bandwidth constrained sensor nodes. This work includes the modeling of location and sensing characteristics of sensor devices with regard to observed phenomena, the support of temporal-spatial estimation queries, and a focus on in-network data aggregation  algorithms for complex spatial estimation queries. Combining high-level data query interfaces with advanced spatial analysis methods will allow domain scientists to use sensor networks effectively in environmental observation. 

Project-Related Publications:

Data Manaagement for Geosensor Networks:

S. Nittel, A. Labrinidis, and A. Stefanidis, Advances in Geosensor NetworksSpringer, LNCS 4540, August 2008. 

S. Nittel A Survey of Geosensor Networks: Advances in Dynamic Environmental Monitoring

Sensors 2009, 9(7), 5664-5678; doi:10.3390/s90705664, published: 15 July 2009.


Y. J. Jung and S. Nittel, Geosensor Data Abstraction for Environmental Monitoring Applications

GIScience, September 23-26, 2008, Park City, Utah, Springer LNCS 5266, pp. 168-180.


Y.J. Jung, Y. K. Lee, D. G. Lee, K. H. Ryu, S. Nittel, Air Pollution Monitoring System using Geosensor Networks

International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), Boston, MA, July 2008. 


Quantitative Spatial Queries in Geosensor Networks:


G. Jin and S. Nittel: Towards Spatial Window Queries Over Continuous Phenomena in Sensor Networks

IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS), Vol 19(4), pp. 559-571, April 2008.  


G. Jin and S. Nittel: UDC: A self-adaptive uneven clustering protocol for dynamic sensor network,

International Journal of Sensor Networks, Vol 2. No 1/2, 2007, pp 25-33.


G. Jin and S. Nittel, Efficient tracking of 2D objects with spatio-temporal properties in wireless sensor networks

Journal of Parallel and Distributed Databases, Vol 29(1-2), pp.3-30. February 2011

Qualitative and Topological Boundaray Tracking of Enviromental Phenomena using Geosensor Networks:

J. Jiang, M. Worboys and S. Nittel,

Qualitative Change Detection in Sensor Networks based on Connectivity Information

Geoinformatica, Vol 15, Issue 15(2), 2010, pp.305.


G. Jin and S. Nittel, Supporting Spatio-Temporal Queries in Wireless Sensor Networks by Tracking Deformable 2D Objects, 

ACM-GIS, Los Angeles, CA, Nov 2008.


C. Farah, C. Zhong, M. Worboys and S. Nittel, Detecting Topological Change using Wireless Sensor Networks

GIScience, Park City, Utah, September 2008. 


G. Jin and S. Nittel: NED: Efficient Event Detection in Sensor Network,

Workshop "Mobile Location-Aware Sensor Networks", in conjunction with MDM, Nara, Japan, May 13 2006. 


M. Duckham, S. Nittel and M. Worboys: Monitoring dynamic spatial fields using responsive geosensor networks,

ACM-GIS 2005, Bremen, Germany, November 2005. 

Mobile Ocean Drifter Networks:


N. Trigoni, K. Ferentinos, N. Pettigrew, and S. Nittel, Impact of drifter deployment on the quality of ocean sensing, in

Advances in Geosensor Networks, Springer LNCS 4540, August 2008. 


S. Nittel, N. Trigoni, K. Ferentinos, F. Neville, A. Nural, and N. Pettigrew, A drift-tolerant model for data management in ocean sensor networks,

MobiDE'07, in conjunction with SIGMOD, Bejing, China, 2007.


A. Nural, S. Nittel, N. Trigoni, and N. Pettigrew, A model for motion pattern discovery in ocean drifter networks,

Costal Environmental Sensing Networks Conference, Boston, MA, April 12-13 2007. 


S. Nittel, N. Trigoni, N. and N. Pettigrew. Data management in mobile ad-hoc ocean sensor networks

NSF-sponsored Workshop on “Mobile Adhoc Sensor Networks”, Pittsburgh, PA, Jan 15-17 2007 (position paper).

Intelligent Transportation Networks using Geoseonsr Networks;


S. Nittel, S. Winter, A. Nural, and T. Cao. Shared Ride Trip Planning using Geosensor Networks,

In: H. Miller (Ed.), Societies and Cities in the Age of Instant Access, Springer, NL, 2007.


S. Winter,  and S. Nittel: Ad-hoc shared ride trip planning by mobile geosensor networks,

International Journal of Geographic Information Science, Vol 20(8):899-916 (2006).


Other Links:

    Geosensor Networks Laboratory

Last Modified: 2011/May