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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 324935, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/324935
Research Article

Multiagent-Based Data Fusion in Environmental Monitoring Networks

1IBCN-IBBT, Department of Information Technology, Ghent University, Gaston Crommenlaan 8, Bus 201, 9050 Ghent, Belgium
2Acoustics Group, Department of Information Technology, Ghent University, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

Received 24 November 2011; Revised 22 March 2012; Accepted 6 April 2012

Academic Editor: Donggang Liu

Copyright © 2012 Samuel Dauwe et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Advances in embedded systems and mobile communication have led to the emergence of smaller, cheaper, and more intelligent sensing units. As of today, these devices have been used in many sensor network applications focused at monitoring environmental parameters in areas with relative large geographical extent. However, in many of these applications, management is often centralized and hierarchical. This approach imposes some major challenges in the context of large-scale and highly distributed sensor networks. In this paper, we present a multilayered, middleware platform for sensor networks offering transparent data aggregation, control, and management mechanisms to the application developer. Furthermore, we propose the use of multiagent systems (MASs) to create a computing environment capable of managing and optimizing tasks autonomously. In order to ensure the scalability of the distributed data fusion, we propose a three-step procedure to balance the workload among machines using mobile agent technology.