Distributed policy-based management framework for wireless sensor networks.

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Policy-Based Management Systems (PBMS) are becoming a critical component of any information technology environment, due to their ability to abstract hardware complexity from their users. Policy-based systems exist in such areas as data center management, security, privacy, and computer network management. The Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is no exception, although implementation of policy-based management in a WSN is still in its infancy. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are particularly challenging due to many characteristics, such as a working environment that makes maintenance and support a challenge; a deployment scale of hundreds, if not thousands, of nodes; and constrained hardware resources. Memory, processing, and battery power are limited, making WSNs capable of handling only applications with limited resource requirements. Consequently, the implementation of policy-based management applications on WSNs has to tackle these characteristics of WSNs and take these limitations into consideration during the design phase. Therefore, due to hardware resource constraints, policy-based management applications on WSNs can store only a limited number of policies in the local memory of a sensor node and must recycle them when additional policies are required. This recycling process creates communication overhead on the network and requires a policy deployment mechanism. The communication overhead will logically reduce the lifetime of the sensor's batteries, and the policy's deployment mechanism dictates system limitations and capabilities. To tackle these challenges, a new distributed policy-based management framework named TinyPolicy has been devised, which can store, locate, access, and execute any policy in the WSN. This new framework uses a newly created policy deployment mechanism named PolicyP2P, which is designed to make the distributed policy-based management system more robust against node failure, eliminate the threat of single points of failure, and improve policy availability. More importantly, it will increase the total number of policies that can be deployed in the WSN, which will result in more manageable constraints or tasks.
Distributed systems, Policy management, Distributed policy management, Wireless sensor network (WSN), PolicyP2P