Guest lecture on wireless sensor network applications by Prof Rachel Cardell-Oliver

Tue, 19 Oct 2021
11:14 am
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A guest lecture was held online on Friday, October 15, 2021, by the Department of Informatics ITS. It was Prof. Rachel Cardell – Oliver from the University of Western Australia who presented her current research entitled “Accurate, cost-aware, fault-tolerant monitoring with minimal sensor infrastructure”. The event was hosted by Ary Mazharuddin Shiddiqi, Ph.D. (lecturer at the Department of Informatics, Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology). The guest lecture was part of the Implementation of the Independent Campus Competition Program (PKKM).

As an introduction, Prof. Rachel showed her father’s picture book from 1995 about how people have managed their environment by taking measurements of their environment long ago. A wireless sensor network (WSN) is a step of the journey in the book. This is because a WSN is a distributed system consisting of sensors that measure environment data, such as a field or a forest, a building or a person, and a city. There are no wires, so communication in this system uses radio waves. The technological driver for this method is that the world is changing so fast that sensors are becoming much cheaper and more widely available. There have been many changes in communication technology, from Bluetooth, radio, cell phones, etc. Thus, many options for collecting and sharing data. This trend allows more and more people to experiment with measuring devices from wireless sensor networks.

The second material presented by Prof. Rachel was the virtual sensing BuildSense framework. Using regression tests or machine learning, the framework collects data and predicts incoming data values retrieved by soft sensors. The minimum set cover algorithm is used to place sensors at the most strategic locations. This technique results in a set of sensor pairs (called the sentinel sensors) to anticipate sensor errors. A sentinel sensor acts as a backup of the other pair should the pair is faulty. A reconfiguration might need to be taken for the faulty sensor or perhaps to replace it.

The third material was the future application of wireless sensor networks. Prof Rachel said that at the UWA, research on WSN had been carried out, such as developing underground sensor networks on agricultural land by applying cheap and easily maintained sensors. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has also developed a wireless sensor network through contactless sensing via wifi signals to treat malaria and Alzheimer’s disease. 

At the end of the guest lecture, the Dean of the Faculty of ELECTICS ITS expressed his gratitude to Prof. Rachel for her attractive and informative talk. He hoped that the collaboration between ITS and UWA would continue. A group photo was taken with 102 participants online to conclude the event.

The record a guest lecture can access at


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