Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS
A number of different system concepts have become apparent in the broader context of embedded systems over the past couple of years. First, there is the classic concept of embedded systems as mainly a control system for some physical process (machinery, automobiles, etc.). More recently, the notion of pervasive and ubiquitous computing started to evolve, where objects of everyday use can be endowed with some form of computational capacity, and perhaps with some simple sensing and communication facilities. However, most recently, the idea of wireless sensor networks has started to appear, where entities that sense their environment not only operate individually but collaborate together using ad-hoc network technologies to achieve a well-defined purpose of supervision/monitoring of some area, some particular process, etc.
A possible term for such a new system conception, born out of the combination of traditional embedded systems, pervasive/ubiquitous computing, and wireless sensor networks is the term „cooperating objects & pervasive control” that stresses the point that a participating object does not need to be a single physical entity, but can very well be a composed object in and of itself – a wireless sensor network would be a typical example, – making them an important, if not a canonical class of cooperating objects.
In an abstract sense, a Cooperating Object is a single entity or a collection of entities consisting of:
- controllers (information processors),
- actuators, or
- cooperating objects
that communicate with each other and are able to achieve, more or less autonomously, certain common goals.
Scientific research field