Wireless sensor and actor networks are comprised of a large number of small, fully autonomous computing, communication, sensing and actuation devices, with very restricted energy and computing capabilities. Such devices co-operate to accomplish a large sensing and acting task. Sensors gather information for an event in the physical world and notify the actors that perform appropriate actions by making a decision on receipt of the sensed information. Such networks can be very useful in practice i.e.~in the local detection of remote crucial events and the propagation of relevant data to decision
centers that perform appropriate actions upon the environment, thus realizing sensing and acting from a distance.
In this work we present a communication protocol that enables scalable, energy efficient and fault tolerant coordination while allowing to prioritize sensing tasks in situated wireless sensor and actor networks. The sensors react locally on environment and context changes and interact with each other in order to adjust the performance of the network in terms of energy, latency and success rate on a per-task basis. To deal with the increased complexity of such large-scale systems, our protocol pulls some additional knowledge about the network in order to subsequently improve data forwarding towards the actors.
We implement and evaluate the protocol using large scale simulation, showing its suitability in networks where sensor to actor and actor to actor coordination are important for accomplishing tasks of different priorities.