How to Improve Fault Tolerance in Disaster Predictions: A Case Study about Flash Floods Using IoT, ML and Real Data

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Mar 19;18(3):907. doi: 10.3390/s18030907.


The rise in the number and intensity of natural disasters is a serious problem that affects the whole world. The consequences of these disasters are significantly worse when they occur in urban districts because of the casualties and extent of the damage to goods and property that is caused. Until now feasible methods of dealing with this have included the use of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) for data collection and machine-learning (ML) techniques for forecasting natural disasters. However, there have recently been some promising new innovations in technology which have supplemented the task of monitoring the environment and carrying out the forecasting. One of these schemes involves adopting IP-based (Internet Protocol) sensor networks, by using emerging patterns for IoT. In light of this, in this study, an attempt has been made to set out and describe the results achieved by SENDI (System for dEtecting and forecasting Natural Disasters based on IoT). SENDI is a fault-tolerant system based on IoT, ML and WSN for the detection and forecasting of natural disasters and the issuing of alerts. The system was modeled by means of ns-3 and data collected by a real-world WSN installed in the town of São Carlos - Brazil, which carries out the data collection from rivers in the region. The fault-tolerance is embedded in the system by anticipating the risk of communication breakdowns and the destruction of the nodes during disasters. It operates by adding intelligence to the nodes to carry out the data distribution and forecasting, even in extreme situations. A case study is also included for flash flood forecasting and this makes use of the ns-3 SENDI model and data collected by WSN.

Keywords: disaster forecast; fault tolerance; internet of things; machine learning; wireless sensor networks.