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Preface - Pg. ix

ix Preface The combination of image sensors with wireless sensor network (WSN) technology has resulted in a new network technology called a visual sensor network (VSN). The use of image sensors in VSNs in- creases the range of potential applications because compared to scalar sensors, image sensors are able to provide more information which can be used for visual processing tasks such as detection, identifica- tion, and tracking. On the one hand, VSNs can be seen as an extension of traditional WSNs where image sensors have replaced scalar sensors. On the other hand, the use of image sensors in VSNs brings with it a whole different set of practical and research challenges. The successful development of VSNs will require research contributions from different disciplines such as visual information processing, wireless networks, hardware and embedded systems, and power engineering. The objective of this book is to assemble together the technology, trends, and applications for research on VSNs to serve as a comprehensive source of reference and to play an influential role in setting the scopes and directions of this emerging field of research. It contains open-solicited and invited chapters written by leading academics, researchers, and practitioners in the field. The target audience would be researchers, professionals, and students in engineering and information technology that engage with visual information processing and wireless systems. While there are other books on wireless sensor networks, few provide a primary focus for discussing the specific challenges for visual information processing in wireless sensor network environments. This book contains sixteen chapters including an opening chapter to introduce the reader to this area. It is structured into four sections which are: foundations of visual information processing in wire- less sensor networks, energy efficient information processing and transmission in VSN, collaborative information processing in VSN, and hardware technology and applications for VSN. The first section on foundations of visual information processing in wireless sensor networks contains an introductory chapter. Chapter 1 by Li-minn Ang and Kah Phooi Seng, presents an introduction to VSN technology and its applications. The authors provide an overview of research issues and trends. Issues related to energy efficient processing, collaborative processing, and hardware technology will be highlighted. This chapter will also give a brief introduction to the other chapters in the book with a focus on showing how the topics covered in each chapter relate to the overall picture of visual information processing in wireless sensor network environments. Section II is devoted to energy efficient information processing and transmission in VSNs. Image sensors generate a very high amount of data that would have to be processed and transmitted within the network. There is a trade-off between the energy required for processing and the energy required for transmission. To save energy in transmission, image and video compression algorithms can be applied to reduce the amount of data to be transmitted. However, the implementation of compression algorithms