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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 740268, 12 pages
Research Article

A Survey of Wireless Sensor Network Abstraction for Application Development

Department of Computer Systems, Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 553, 33101 Tampere, Finland

Received 25 June 2012; Revised 14 September 2012; Accepted 5 November 2012

Academic Editor: Arne Bröring

Copyright © 2012 Teemu Laukkarinen 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.


Wireless sensor network (WSN) application development is not an easy task due to its resource constrained nature and vast feature rich application space. Several abstractions are harnessed to ease out the difficult WSN application development. In this paper, three levels of abstractions are classified from the existing literature: node, network, and infrastructure abstractions. Since the node and network abstractions are already a well-studied area, the infrastructure abstraction is surveyed in detail to complete knowledge. Technology interoperability, service discovery, metadata support, and processing support are found as basic requirements for infrastructure abstraction. Problematic security and quality of service topics are discussed and the open research questions of ontology, service discovery, distributed processing, and performance metrics are defined. Finally, a distributed middleware design is presented as a possible solution for the key open research question: how to utilize capabilities of the abstracted technologies.