Semantic self-assessment of query results in dynamic environments
ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology
Queries are convenient abstractions for the discovery of information and services, as they offer content-based information access. In distributed settings, query semantics are well-defined, e.g., queries are often designed to satisfy ACID transactional properties. When query processing is introduced in a dynamic network setting, achieving transactional semantics becomes complex due to the open and unpredictable environment. In this paper, we propose a query processing model for mobile ad hoc
... sensor networks that is suitable for expressing a wide range of query semantics; the semantics differ in the degree of consistency with which query results reflect the state of the environment during query execution. We introduce several distinct notions of consistency and formally express them in our model. A practical and significant contribution of this paper is a protocol for query processing that automatically assesses and adaptively provides an achievable degree of consistency given the operational environment throughout its execution. The protocol attaches an assessment of the achieved guarantee to returned query results, allowing precise reasoning about a query with a range of possible semantics. We evaluate the performance of this protocol and demonstrate the benefits accrued to applications through examples drawn from an industrial application.