Masking Failures of Multidimensional Sensors (Extended Abstract)
CORNELL UNIV ITHACA NY DEPT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
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When a computer monitors a physical process, the computer uses sensors to determine the values of the physical variables that represent the state of the process. A sensor can sometimes fail, however, and in the worst case report a value completely unrelated to the true physical value. The work described in this paper is motivated by a methodology for transforming a process control program that cannot tolerate sensor failure into one that can. In this methodology, a reliable abstract sensor is created by combining information from several real sensors that measure the same physical value. To be useful, an abstract sensor must deliver reasonably accurate information at reasonable computational cost. In this paper, we consider sensors that deliver multidimensional values e.g., location or velocity in 3 dimensions, or both temperature and pressure. Geometric techniques are used to derive upper bounds on abstract sensor accuracy and to develop efficient algorithms for implementing abstract sensors.
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