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Simpler Language Allows Non-Experts to Program Wireless Sensor Networks


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University of Michigan Associate Professor Robert Dick

University of Michigan

Researchers at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University have developed a programming language for wireless sensor networks that will enable non-computer experts to program them for research. "Most existing programming languages for wireless sensor networks are a nightmare for non-programmers," says Michigan professor Robert Dick (pictured). "We're working on ways to allow the scientists who actually use the devices to program them reliably without having to hire an embedded systems programming expert."

To create their simplified programming language, the researchers examined the variables that a scientist using a sensor network may want to monitor, and the areas in which a scientist would need flexibility. They identified 19 "application-level properties," which were grouped into seven categories or archetypes. The seven archetypes focus on specific types of monitoring that different researchers may use.

The Wireless sensor network Archetype-Specific Programming Language (WASP) has already been developed, and others are underway. WASP allows scientists to tell the system what they want to do, instead of how they want it to complete the task. "Scientists enter the requirements and our system sorts out the implementation details for them automatically," Dick says.

From University of Michigan News Service
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