Sensing and Decision Making in Cyber-Physical Systems: The Case of Structural Event Monitoring

Md Zakirul Alam Bhuiyan, Jie Wu, Guojun Wang, Jiannong Cao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are being suggested at an increasing rate for structural health monitoring (SHM). The objective is to monitor complex events (e.g., damage) in structures (e.g., an industrial machine and a high-rise building) that are usually carried out with wired-based SHM systems. However, monitoring events with a WSN deployed over large structures is challenging due to WSN constraints (high-resolution data transmission and energy) and the quality of monitoring. In this paper, we attempt to design a cyber-physical system (CPS) of structural event monitoring with WSNs and propose a novel model-based in-network decision making in the CPS named MODEM. We think of the idea of generic event detection (like target/object) schemes, and enable each sensor to sense and make a simplified local decision (0/1) on the complex events. We then think of the formation of engineering structures and find that a large physical structure consists of a number of substructures. We enable deployed sensors to be organized into groups in such a way that a groupwise final decision (e.g., 0/1) can be provided for each substructure independently so that the existence of an event (if there is any) in a specific substructure can be identified by WSNs. MODEM is fully distributed in nature, promises to have the monitoring quality similar to the original wired-based schemes, and consumes much less energy for transmissions and computations than existing schemes do. The effectiveness of MODEM is shown via both simulations and real experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7384471
Pages (from-to)2103-2114
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Decision making
  • in-network processing
  • sensor fusion
  • structural health monitoring (SHM)
  • wireless sensor networks (WSN)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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