“A Tool for Real-Time Assessment of IEEE 802.15.4 Networks Through Fault Injection”

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Rui Pedro Caldeira, Jeferson L. R. Souza, Ricardo Correia Pinto, José Rufino

in Proceedings of the 7th Simpósio de Informática (INFORUM), Covilhã, Portugal, Sept. 2015.

Abstract: Advances in computer engineering and microelectronics have allowed the use of tiny and powerful computing platforms (i.e., sensors and actuators) everywhere, supporting the monitoring and control of, for example, process for industrial automation and functions within aerospace vehicles. Many of these systems have the ability to host, in the same computing platform, applications with different levels of criticality (or importance), i.e. mixed-critical systems. Wireless sensor and actuator networks (WSANs) become the vivid example of computer networks responsible for the monitoring and control activities of such systems. The dependability and the real-time properties of such networks are crucial. However, one key point is that WSANs are extremely susceptible to communication errors induced by electromagnetic interferences. Furthermore, there is a general lack of knowledge of such error patterns as well as no open tools enabling its capture. This paper presents a state of the art solution for one-hop assessment of WSANs in the presence of errors based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. The solution includes devices and functions to monitor the behaviour of the network as well as methods to emulate accidental errors and to perform intentional attacks. All these resources are managed and controlled by a customised version of the well-known open-source Wireshark network protocol analyser. This allows the generation of network error reports fundamental to the evaluation of the real-time capabilities of current wireless network protocols and standards. These error reports contribute to a better knowledge of the error characteristics of WSANs and therefore enable the design of more robust and resilient solutions for WSANs operation.

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Project(s): Project:READAPT, Project:COST Action IC1402

Research line(s): Timeliness and Adaptation in Dependable Systems (TADS)

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