Special issue | Health care on smart and mobile devices

Vol. 71, n° 9-10, September-October 2016
Content available on Springerlink

Guest editors

Yuan Zhang, University of Jinan, China
Houbing Song, West Virginia University, USA
Krishna Kumar Venkatasubramanian, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA
Winston Seah, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Khaled Boussetta, University Paris 13/Inria, France


Health care on mobile devices

Guy Pujolle, Editor-in-chief
UPMC/CNRS, Paris, France


Performance evaluation of co-located IEEE 802.15.4-based wireless body sensor networks

Amirhossein Moravejosharieh1, Jaime Lloret2

(1) University of Canterbury, New Zealand
(2) Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain

Abstract Wireless body sensor networks (WBSNs) are expected to play a pivotal role in health-related and well-being applications. In this paper, we consider a situation in which a large number of people wearing body sensor networks are gathered in very close vicinity (as can happen in sport events or emergency hospitals). Clearly, BSNs compete with each other to gain access to the same frequency which results in experiencing mutual (internal) interference. Therefore, we investigate the “internal interference” and its destructive impacts on the overall performance gain of WBSNs using IEEE 802.15.4 standard protocol. As the number of WBSNs increases in the channel, it becomes highly likely for active periods of neighbouring WBSNs to overlap with each other. The increase in overlapping active periods would increase the probability of packet collisions leading to performance degradation. In this paper, two types of interference mitigation strategies are proposed, namely passive schemes and active scheme. The terms passive and active refer to the absence and presence of the capability of communication between WBSNs to efficiently utilise the same frequency spectrum. According to the passive schemes, WBSNs are enabled to change their operating frequencies whenever required to mitigate the impacts of internal interference, whereas active scheme offers collaborative utilisation of the channel. The simulation results show that the proposed active scheme represents the highest performance gains compared to the proposed practical passive schemes.

Keywords Wireless body, sensor networks, Internal interference mitigation, Collaborative channel utilisation, Frequency adaptation, IEEE 802.15.4 performance


Fairness-aware radio resource management for medical interoperability between WBAN and WLAN

Byeong-Moon Cho1, Kyung-Joon Park1, Eun-Chan Park2

(1) DGIST, Daegu, Korea
(2) Dongguk University, Seoul, Korea

Abstract Wireless body area networks (WBANs) in the industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) bands have been increasingly adopted for various medical applications. Due to the shared nature of the ISM bands, when a WBAN coexists with a wireless local area network (WLAN), performance of WBAN may significantly degrade because of asymmetric attributes between WBAN and WLAN such as transmit power and response time. In this paper, we propose a novel channel access protocol for achieving effective channel sharing in the aspect of efficiency and fairness, which adaptively controls the contention window size of WLAN based on the delay information of WBAN. Our extensive simulation results for real-time electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring show that the proposed scheme can guarantee the required quality of service of WBAN while insignificant degradation of WLAN performance.

Keywords Medical interoperability, Coexistence, WBAN, WLAN, Electrocardiogram (ECG)


Performance of IR-UWB cross-layer ranging protocols under on-body channel models with body area networks

Arturo Guizar, Claire Goursaud, Jean-Marie Gorce

University of Lyon, INSA Lyon, Inria, CITI, France

Abstract This paper deals with the positioning performance of the 3-Way ranging protocol (3-WR) in a wireless body area network (WBAN). The purpose is to propose a new cooperative algorithm to improve the number of estimated positions with a conditional permutation of the on-body anchors. To do so, we first evaluate and analyze the positioning success rate under a realistic mobility scenario and using two scheduling strategies: Broadcast single node localization (P2P-B) and aggregated and broadcast (A&B)) with a medium access control (MAC) layer based on time division multiple access (TDMA). The 3-WR estimates the distance between two nodes placed on the body with the transmission of three packets. The wireless transmission is based on impulse radio ultra wideband (IR-UWB). However, these transactions can be lost through the WBAN channel leading into a “bad positioning service.” We consider a physical layer based on IR-UWB with three different channels: (1) an empirical theoretical model based on the on-body CM3 path loss channel (Anechoic chamber), (2) a simulated channel calculated by ray-tracing with the PyLayers simulator, and (3) an experimental channel model obtained by measurements. Our results show that the channel affects the positioning success rate that decreases as a function of the sensitivity threshold at the receiver. This can be solved with long and short term analysis for the choice of virtual anchors to increase the positioning performance.

Keywords Wireless body area networks, Ultra wideband, Cooperative communications, Localization, Motion capture, IEEE 802.15.6, TDMA, Scheduling


A differential privacy protection scheme for sensitive big data in body sensor networks

Chi Lin1,2, Pengyu Wang1,2, Houbing Song3, Yanhong Zhou1,2, Qing Liu1,2, Guowei Wu1,2

(1) Dalian University of Technology, China
(2) Key laboratory for ubiquitous network and service software, Dalian, China
(3) West Virginia University, Montgomery, USA

Abstract As a special kind of application of wireless sensor networks, body sensor networks (BSNs) have broad application perspectives in health caring. Big data acquired from BSNs usually contain sensitive information, such as physical condition, location information, and so on, which is compulsory to be appropriately protected. However, previous methods overlooked the privacy protection issue, leading to privacy violation. In this paper, a differential privacy protection scheme for sensitive big data in BSNs is proposed. A tree structure is constructed to reduce errors and provide long range queries. Haar Wavelet transformation method is applied to convert histogram into a complete binary tree. At last, to verify the advantages of our scheme, several experiments are conducted to show the outperformed results. Experimental results demonstrate that the tree structure greatly reduces the calculation overheads which preserves differential privacy for users.

Keywords Sensitive information, Body sensor networks, Differential privacy protection.


Performance evaluation of Enhanced Very Fast Decision Tree (EVFDT) mechanism for distributed denial-of-service attack detection in health care systems

Haider Abbas1,2, Rabia Latif2, Seemab Latif2, Ashraf Masood2

(1) King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
(2) National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan

Abstract Securing cloud-assisted Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) environment by applying security mechanism that consumes less resources is still a challenging task. This research makes an attempt to address the same. One of the most prominent attacks in cloud-assisted WBAN is Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that not only disrupts the communication but also diminishes the network bandwidth and capacity. This work is an extension of our previous research work in which an Enhanced Very Fast Decision Tree (EVFDT) was proposed which could detect DDoS attack successfully. However, in our previous work, the proposed algorithm is evaluated on the dataset generated by implementing LEACH protocol in NS-2. In this paper, a real-time cloud-assisted WBAN test bed is deployed to investigate the efficiency and accuracy of proposed EVFDT algorithm for real-time sensor network traffic. To evaluate the performance of proposed algorithm on real-time WBAN, four metrics are used including classification accuracy, time, memory, and computational cost. It was observed that EVFDT outperforms the existing algorithms by maintaining better results for these metrics even in the presence of extreme noise. Experimental results show that the EVFDT algorithm attains significantly high detection accuracy with less false alarm rate.

Keywords Cloud-assisted wireless body area network, Distributed Denial of Service attack, Very Fast Decision Tree, Data mining, Machine learning.


A network-assisted flow mobility architecture for optimized mobile medical multimedia transmission

Norbert Varga1, László Bokor1, Esa Piri2

(1) Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary
(2) VTT Technical Research Center of Finland

Abstract A large part of mobile Health (mHealth) use-cases such as remote patient monitoring/diagnosis, teleconsultation, and guided surgical intervention requires advanced and reliable mobile communication solutions to provide efficient multimedia transmission with strict medical level Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) provision. The increasing deployment of overlapping wireless access networks enables the possibility to offer the required network resources for ubiquitous and pervasive mHealth services. To address the challenges and support the above use-cases in today’s heterogeneous network (HetNet) environments, we propose a network-assisted flow-based mobility management architecture for optimized real-time mobile medical multimedia communication. The proposed system is empirically evaluated in a Pan-European HetNet testbed with multi-access Android-based mobile devices. We observed that the proposed scheme significantly improves the objective QoE of simultaneous real-time high-resolution electrocardiography and high-definition ultrasound transmissions while also enhances traffic load balancing capabilities of wireless architectures.

Keywords mHealth, Mobile medical multimedia, Medical video quality assessment, Flow mobility, Heterogeneous networks, Dynamic network discovery and selection, Cross-layer optimization.


Cloud support for large scale e-healthcare systems

Qutaibah Althebyan, Qussai Yaseen, Yaser Jararweh, Mahmoud Al-Ayyoub

Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan

Abstract Rapid development of wearable devices and mobile cloud computing technologies has led to new opportunities for large scale e-healthcare systems. In these systems, individuals’ health information are remotely detected using wearable sensors and forwarded through wireless devices to a dedicated computing system for processing and evaluation where a set of specialists namely, hospitals, healthcare agencies and physicians will take care of such health information. Real-time or semi-real time health information are used for online monitoring of patients at home. This in fact enables the doctors and specialists to provide immediate medical treatments. Large scale e-healthcare systems aim at extending the monitoring coverage from individuals to include a crowd of people who live in communities, cities, or even up to a whole country. In this paper, we propose a large scale e-healthcare monitoring system that targets a crowd of individuals in a wide geographical area. The system is efficiently integrating many emerging technologies such as mobile computing, edge computing, wearable sensors, cloud computing, big data techniques, and decision support systems. It can offer remote monitoring of patients anytime and anywhere in a timely manner. The system also features some unique functions that are of great importance for patients’ health as well as for societies, cities, and countries. These unique features are characterized by taking long-term, proactive, and intelligent decisions for expected risks that might arise by detecting abnormal health patterns shown after analyzing huge amounts of patients’ data. Furthermore, it is using a set of supportive information to enhance the decision support system outcome. A rigorous set of evaluation experiments are conducted and presented to validate the efficiency of the proposed model. The obtained results show that the proposed model is scalable by handling a large number of monitored individuals with minimal overhead. Moreover, exploiting the cloud-based system reduces both the resources consumption and the delay overhead for each individual patient.

Keywords Cloud computing, Mobile edge computing, Health monitoring, Map reduce, Decision systems, ReactiveProactive.


Open Topics

Implementation and performance evaluation of IEEE 802.15.4 unslotted CSMA/CA protocol on Contiki OS

Hamadoun Tall, Gerard Chalhoub, Michel Misson

Université d’Auvergne, Aubière, France

Abstract In the wireless sensor networks domain, one of the most used standards is IEEE 802.15.4. This standard has been made available on many low power operating systems such as TinyOS and Contiki OS. It is crucial for the implementation to be compliant with the specifications of the standard. In the case of Contiki OS, the provided version of the main medium access algorithm, unslotted Carrier Sensing Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA), presents many flaws. In this paper, we discuss the implementation of the provided CSMA/CA algorithm and we point out to the parts that do not respect the standard specifications. We also propose and implement a compliant version of this algorithm and show through simulation the correctness of the implementation.

Keywords IEEE 802.15.4, CSMA/CA, Wireless Sensor Networks, Performance evaluation, Contiki, Cooja.


Dielectric loaded quasi-lumped element resonator antenna circuit model for U-NII/ISM band wireless applications

Seyi Stephen Olokede, Mohd Fadzil, AinZainal Arifin Ahmad

Universiti Sains Malaysia, Nibong Tebal, Malaysia

Abstract In this paper, an analytical procedure for characterizing the dielectric loaded quasi-lumped element resonator (QLER) antenna for wireless applications is presented. The procedure is to examine the equivalent circuit model for the dielectric loaded QLER antenna and its feed structure, based on transmission line theory and equivalent lumped-element circuits. The corresponding lumped-circuit parameters of the equivalent circuit are extracted using analytical formulae taken from the literature and validated by comparison with numerical simulations such as a full-wave finite-element computer code and with experiments. The devised equivalent circuit explains its behavior as either a wide bandwidth or dual-band antenna, depending on the spacing between the dielectric resonator (DR) and the coaxial feed probe location.

Keywords Quasi-lumped element resonator, Dielectric resonator, Antenna miniaturization, Equivalent circuit characterisation.


Localized paging in proxy mobile IPv6 networks

Zhiwei Yan1, Jong-Hyouk Lee2

(1) China Internet Network Information Center, Beijing, China
(2) Sangmyung University, Cheonan, Korea

Abstract In Proxy Mobile IPv6 (PMIPv6) networks, proxy registrations are performed even for idle mobile nodes (MNs), resulting in unnecessary signaling traffic and protocol cost. Although there have been many paging techniques aimed at reducing the unnecessary location updates, those are mainly focused on telecommunication systems and how to adopt IP paging schemes in PMIPv6 is not yet well studied. In this paper, we introduce a new paging scheme that optimizes paging performance in a localized manner. The proposed localized paging scheme pages the idle MN through a mobility access gateway (MAG) while the operation is transparent to a local mobility anchor (LMA) in a PMIPv6 network domain. In this way, a bottleneck risk at the LMA can be avoided, without a huge requirement of buffer size and paging singling cost. We develop a thorough analytical model for evaluating the performance of the proposed scheme, compared with a LMA-based paging scheme in terms of the buffer size requirement and signaling cost. Analytical results demonstrate that the proposed paging scheme can significantly reduce the signaling cost for PMIPv6, achieving a less buffer size requirement and of course shorter paging delay, compared with those of the LMA-based paging scheme.

Keywords PMIPv6, Localized paging, Buffer size requirement, Protocol cost.


Transformation optics for the validation of a time-domain full-wave model of linear complex media

A. Ijjeh, M. M. Ney

Télécom Bretagne, Brest, France

Abstract Complex media have gained interest in microwave and millimeter-wave devices. They display some interesting characteristics such as, for instance, tunability and controlled filtering capacity. However, such media are generally very complex as they can be fully nonhomogeneous; frequency dependent, anisotropic, time dependent, or chiral. This requires simulation techniques capable of solving Maxwell’s equations accounting for such media. Also, apart comparison with rather difficult measurement, canonical solutions are not available for validation. In this paper, the concept of transformation optics (TO) is presented as a systematic tool to construct computational problems involving complex media for which the analytical solution is known. Several examples are shown for validation of a new transmission-line matrix (TLM) cell that model complex media.

Keywords Transformation opticsComplex linear mediaCoordinate transformationTransmission line matrix method (TLM)Full-wave methods.


A generic Kerberos-based access control system for the cloud

Hella Kaffel-Ben Ayed1, Bilel Zaghdoudi2

(1) Manouba University, Tunisia
(2) El Manar Univesity, Tunis, Tunisia

Abstract Access control systems are often seen as the most effective tool to address the security challenges faced by cloud computing. Most of the proposed approaches are designed for specific application domains or service models. The goal of this paper is to propose a generic access control system for the cloud that is applicable to the different cloud service models. We rely on Kerberos as well as access control lists and authorization tickets for the implementation of access control and no replay. We use CloudSim to evaluate our proposal and show that it has an acceptable overhead. We also show that the architecture’s elasticity has no significant impact on the access time. To prove its feasibility, we implemented the proposed solution over an Openstack cloud platform integrated within Kerberos.

Keywords Cloud computing, Access control, SSO