Athena: Towards decision-centric anticipatory sensor information delivery

Jongdeog Lee, Kelvin Marcus, Tarek Abdelzaher, Tanvir A. Amin, Amotz Bar-Noy, William Dron, Ramesh Govindan, Reginald Hobbs, Shaohan Hu, Jung Eun Kim, Lui Sha, Shuochao Yao, Yiran Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper introduces a new direction in quality-of-service-aware networked sensing that designs communication protocols and scheduling policies for data delivery that are optimized specifically for decision needs. The work complements present decision monitoring and support tools and falls in the larger framework of decision-driven resource management. A hallmark of the new protocols is that they are aware of the inference structure used to arrive at decisions (from logical predicates), as well as the data (and data quality) that need to be furnished to successfully evaluate the unknowns on which these decisions are based. Such protocols can therefore anticipate and deliver precisely the right data, at the right level of quality, from the right sources, at the right time, to enable valid and timely decisions at minimum cost to the underlying network. This paper presents the decision model used and the protocol design philosophy, reviews the key recent results and describes a novel system, called Athena, that is the first to embody the aforementioned data delivery paradigm. Evaluation results are presented that compare the performance of decision-centric anticipatory information delivery to several baselines, demonstrating its various advantages in terms of decision timeliness, validity and network resources used. The paper concludes with a discussion of remaining future challenges in this emerging area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalJournal of Sensor and Actuator Networks
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


  • Decision-centric Quality of Service (QoS)
  • Information delivery for the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Real-time scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Optimization


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