This paper describes a self-assembling sleep-wake sensor system that is scalable, easily implemented, and energy conserving. Sensors actively detecting events form wave fronts that sweep the sensor field. An application of concepts from cellular automata theory accounts for much of its novelty. The system has additional, highly desirable properties such as a self-healing capability, fault tolerance, asynchronous operation, seamless accommodation of obstacles in the sensor field, and it is highly effective even in the case of intelligent intruders, i.e., those who know sensor design and sensor locations. System performance is a focus of the paper, and, as in the study of the emergent behavior of cellular automata, an instructive example of experimental mathematics. Related open questions in mathematical performance analysis are reviewed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Hardware and Architecture
- Computer Networks and Communications