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MobiCom 2000 Panels

Panel 1: August 8, Tuesday, 3:30 - 5:00 pm

Comm'n Sense: Wireless Sensor Networks

Organizer: Deborah Estrin (UCLA and USC/ISI)

Panelists: Anantha Chandrakasan (MIT LCS), Andrew Hopper (AT&T Laboratories Cambridge), Joe Paradiso (MIT Media Lab) and Roy Want (Xerox PARC).

Pervasive micro-sensing and actuation offer to revolutionize the way in which we understand and construct complex physical systems: from airplane wings to plankton colonies, to transportation and environmental monitoring. The capabilities for detailed physical monitoring and manipulation offer enormous opportunities; however, the vision depends on our ability to design and deploy NETWORKS of untethered sensor/actuator nodes that are energy efficient, robust to dynamic environmental conditions, and scalable to large numbers. This panel will debate the architectural challenges posed by such massively distributed, large scale, physically-coupled, wireless computing systems:

  • Are any of the commonly used MAC protocols applicable; or all they too power hungry?
  • What role do ad hoc routing protocols have to play, if any?
  • Do we need unique node IDs? What for?
  • How application specific are the solutions?
  • What hope do we have of building long-lived, unattended systems given current battery technology limitations?
  • Are energy scavenging technique for real?
  • What's new here beyond the early Xerox PARC and Cambridge ORL/ATT Lab efforts on tabs, tags, etc.
  • To what extent can or should we focus on peer-to-peer as opposed to base-station oriented approaches; the former are more interesting to design, but are they practical?
  •  .... and more.
Panel 2: August 9, Wednesday, 3:30 - 5:00 pm

The Future Wireless Internet: Gazing into the Crystal Ball

Organizer: Armando Fox, Stanford University

Panelists: Ramon Caceres (AT&T Labs - Research), William R. Cockayne (Scout Electromedia), Rohit Khare (KnowNow), Kathy Richardson (Compaq Western Research Laboratory), Mahmoud Naghshineh (IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center) and Bill Maggs (Palm Inc.)

As the wireless Internet space heats up, chaos is ensuing as protocols and device form factors jockey for position. Web users and service operators must choose from among WAP-enabled "smart phones", PDA's with microbrowsers enabled by transformation gateways (ProxiWeb or Palm VII Web clipping), or sophisticated HTML-aware phones (iPhone and jPhone supported by DoCoMo). In addition, today's early-adopter users carry more than one device with them, the most common combination being a cell phone and a palm-sized device. Will the future wireless Internet have a place for each of these, or will it be a "winner take all" scenario?

Will cell phones yield to Palm-like devices that offer voice capability via an "ear plug" and microphone? Or will cell phones become so sophisticated that today's palm-form-factor devices will become obsolete? Is it just a matter of time before WAP is overtaken by the momentum of Web standards such as "compact HTML" and Web transformation gateways? Or will WAP thrive despite its requirement of site reauthoring?

Panelists are invited to prognosticate on these and other aspects of their vision of the future wireless Internet. Lively debate is guaranteed for all.