Octopus: Monitoring, visualization, and control of sensor networks

Raja Jurdak*, Antonio G. Ruzzelli, Alessio Barbirato, Samuel Boivineau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Sensor network monitoring and control are currently addressed separately through specialized tools. However, the high degree of coupling of network state to the physical environment in which the network is deployed demands that users can monitor the network and respond to network state changes continuously. This paper presents the open-source Octopus visualization and control tool. Octopus is a protocol-independent tool that provides live information about the network topology and sensor data in order to enable live debugging of deployed sensor networks. It enables operators to reconfigure the network behavior, such as switching between time-driven, event-driven, and query-driven modes or between awake and sleep modes of one, many, or all nodes through its graphical interface. Octopus also supports changing duty cycles of nodes, data reporting period, or sensing thresholds in event-driven networks. Reconfiguration of nodes is achieved through short request messages that support typical reconfiguration options without the overhead of epidemically sending new program images over the air. Our empirical tests showcase Octopus's capacity to debug application behavior and to characterize heterogeneous network performance under multiple settings, as a step toward establishing a rules database that relates data delivery to network-level parameters, and toward enabling autonomous network reconfiguration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1091
Number of pages19
JournalWireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • control
  • debugging
  • monitoring
  • network
  • sensor
  • visualization


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