Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks

Edge computing, also known as fog computing, is a technique that can be used to create an ad hoc decentralized network to provide Internet service in areas devastated by natural disasters.

The idea is to create an ad hoc decentralized network that uses computing power built into mobile phones, routers, and other hardware to provide actionable data to emergency managers and first responders.

In a flooded area, for example, search and rescue personnel could continuously ping enabled phones, surveillance cameras, and “internet of things” devices in an area to determine their exact locations. That data could then be used to create density maps of people to prioritize and guide emergency response teams.

“We believe fog computing can become a potent enabler of decentralized, local social sensing services that can operate when internet connectivity is constrained,” said Kishore Ramachandran, PhD, computer science professor at Georgia Tech and senior author of a paper presented in April this year at the 2nd International Workshop on Social Sensing*.

In his 1999 novel A Deepness in the Sky, computer scientist and science fiction author Vernor Vinge thought about this problem as well. He called them localizers:

Localizers were a basic tool of an technical civilization. The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another, using time of flight and distributed algorithms to accurately locate each participating device. Several thousand of them formed the positioning grid on the rubble pile. Together they were a kind of low-level network, providing information on the orientation, position, and relative velocity of the electric jets and the rubble.

Here's another technological solution to this problem - Swarming Micro Air Vehicle Networks (SMAVNET). Via this interesting article at KurzweilAI.

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