Decision Support in Ad Hoc Sensor Networks: Autonomous Construction Safety Monitoring
Abstract As part of a larger movement to ubiquitous computing where sensors and mobile computers are everywhere, the intelligent jobsite is becoming a reality. Applications such as structural health monitoring and materials management that use sensors and mobile computing devices are being developed and deployed commercially. There are also specific sensors and applications for construction safety, such as location monitoring. However, these applications are purpose driven and are not deployed for reuse. Yet the intelligent job site will have a plethora of sensed information. This creates an opportunity for workers to access data in an ad hoc manner as they move through a site, leveraging data for multiple purposes. However, re-tasking and reuse of sensors in a dynamic setting presents significant challenges including ad hoc identification of sensors in a local environment, generalization of data, and the use of dynamic information for decision support. This talk describes these challenges in the context of construction safety. Particular focus is given to the decision support challenges. Research objectives include defining safety in a monitored environment, deploying decision rules in a distributed environment first assuming perfect information, and, finally, distributed decision support with imperfect information. The challenges of imperfect data parallel some of those faced by researchers in structural health monitoring including model based interpretation of uncertain data and system identification. We draw parallels where appropriate and look for open discussion. About the Speaker: Dr. William J. O’Brien focuses his professional efforts on improving collaboration and coordination among firms in the design and construction industry. Dr. O’Brien is an expert on construction supply chain management and electronic collaboration, where he conducts research, teaches and consults on both systems design and implementation issues. He was the lead editor on the recently published Construction Supply Chain Management Handbook (CRC Press). Dr. O’Brien is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.