Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Sensor Networks

  • Ramesh GovindanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_341


Wireless sensor networks; Embedded networked sensing; Sensornet


A sensor network is a collection of small battery-operated embedded devices each with a built-in processor, sensors, and wireless communication capability. It usually has one or more gateways, or embedded computers, connected to an external communications infrastructure (e.g. the Internet or the cellular network). Either the embedded devices or the gateways may be mobile. The purpose of a sensor network is to collaboratively sense the environment, and convey (a possibly condensed version of) the sensed information to one or more human users via the gateways. More advanced sensor networks may autonomously react to the sensed information and effect an action, such as activating a camera or a light switch.

Historical Background

As early as 1977, researchers appear to have discussed, in significant depth, the various issues in building a distributed wireless sensor network. These discussions were part of...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Le Gruenwald
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA