LCTES2006 - Keynote speech

Embedded Systems in the Wild: ZebraNet Software, Hardware, and Deployment Experiences

Margaret Martonosi
Princeton University


The Princeton ZebraNet project is a collaboration of engineers and biologists to build mobile, wireless embedded systems for wildlife tracking. Over the lifetime of the project, we have implemented a number of compression, communication, and data management algorithms specifically tailored for the small memory, constrained energy and sparse connectivity of these long-lifetime systems. We have gone through three major generations of hardware and software implementations, and have done two successful real-world deployments on Plains Zebras in Kenya, with a third deployment planned for Summer, 2007. In this talk, I will discuss our real-life experiences with crafting embedded systems hardware and software, and our deployment experiences in Africa. I will also put forward a vision for how portability, reliability, and energy-efficiency can be well-supported in future embedded systems.


Margaret Martonosi is currently Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University, where she has been on the faculty since 1994. She is also an Associate Dean for Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science and she holds an affiliated faculty appointment in Princeton CS. Martonosi's research interests are in computer architecture and the hardware/software interface, with particular focus on power-efficient systems and mobile computing. In the field of processor architecture, she has done extensive work on power modeling and management and on memory hierarchy performance and energy. This has included the development of the Wattch power modeling tool, the first architecture level power modeling infrastructure for superscalar processors. Her memory hierarchy work has included early performance-oriented studies, as well as more recent work on energy-aware memory hierarchies. In the field of mobile computing and sensor networks, Martonosi leads the Princeton ZebraNet project. Martonosi is co-author on over 90 refereed publications and inventor on six granted US patents. She is currently vice-chair of ACM SIGARCH. Martonosi completed her Ph.D. at Stanford University, and also holds a Master's degree from Stanford and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University, all in Electrical Engineering.