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How to Make Sense of Wireless Sensor Network’s Programming

As our environment becomes smarter, Wireless Sensor Networks gain importance. They can be found in all kind of industry sectors, such as agriculture, transportation and logistics, utilities, buildings, and many more. Despite their small physical size, they can make a huge difference for many business processes.

One use case can be found in smart buildings. Here, wireless sensor networks can control lights, temperature, and even the CO2-level in the air. All it takes to achieve an efficient controlling is to program the Wireless Sensor Networks correctly. Actually, this is where the problem lies, as the programming of these sensor networks is extremely cost- and time-consuming.

Within the research project makeSense, a revolutionary approach is taken. The goal is to ease the programming of Wireless Sensor Networks by combining the world of business processes and the world of sensor networks. This approach will not only allow experts to program these sensor networks but enables any business process manager, such as facility managers, to program the devices.

On the technical side, makeSense allows business experts to model sensor network behavior using process diagrams in the well-established standard BPMN without knowing the details of the underlying sensor network infrastructure. The chain of software tools developed in makeSense hence takes one of the pools in the process diagrams and compiles it into executable code that is deployed on the sensor network. This allows the specification of complete control loops, reading sensors and driving actuators, and their communication with the overarching business process in one modeling tool.

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