SNTS: Sensor Network Troubleshooting Suite

Mohammad Maifi Hasan Khan, Liqian Luo, Chengdu Huang, Tarek Abdelzaher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Sensor network troubleshooting is a notoriously difficult task, further exacerbated by resource constraints, unreliable components, unpredictable natural phenomena, and experimental programming paradigms. This paper presents SNTS (Sensor Network Troubleshooting Suite), a tool that performs automated failure diagnosis in sensor networks. SNTS can be used to monitor network conditions using simple visualization techniques as well as to troubleshoot deployed distributed sensor systems using data mining approaches. It is composed of (i) a data collection front-end that records events internal to the network and (ii) a data processing back-end for subsequent analysis. We use data mining techniques to automate failure diagnosis on the back-end. The assumption is that the occurrence of execution conditions that cause failures (e.g., traversal of an execution path that contains a "bug" or occurrence of a sequence of events that a protocol was not designed to handle) will have a measurable correlation (by causality) with the resulting failure itself. Hence, by mining for network conditions that correlate with failure states the root causes of failure are revealed with high probability. To evaluate the effectiveness of the tool, we have used it to troubleshoot a tracking system called EnviroTrack [4], which, although performs well most of the time, occasionally fails to track targets correctly. Results show that SNTS can identify the major causes of the problem and give developers useful hints on improving the performance of the tracking system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDistributed Computing in Sensor Systems - Third IEEE International Conference, DCOSS 2007, Proceedings
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)3540730893, 9783540730897
StatePublished - 2007
Event3rd IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems, DCOSS 2007 - Santa Fe, NM, United States
Duration: Jun 18 2007Jun 20 2007

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume4549 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other3rd IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems, DCOSS 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Fe, NM


  • Data mining
  • Distributed troubleshooting
  • Sensor network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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