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Measurement and Applications: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of Hierarchical Federated Learning in Sensor Applications

Sensor applications have become ubiquitous in modern society as the digital age continues to advance. AI-based techniques (e.g., machine learning) are effective at extracting actionable information from large amounts of data. An example would be an automated water irrigation system that uses AI-based techniques on soil quality data to decide how to best distribute water. However, these AI-based techniques are costly in terms of hardware resources, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors are resource-constrained with respect to processing power, energy, and storage capacity. These limitations can compromise the security, performance, and reliability of sensor-driven applications. To address these concerns, cloud computing services can be used by sensor applications for data storage and processing. Unfortunately, cloud-based sensor applications that require real-time processing, such as medical applications (e.g., fall detection and stroke prediction), are vulnerable to issues such as network latency due to the sparse and unreliable networks between the sensor nodes and the cloud server [1]. As users approach the edge of the communications network, latency issues become more severe and frequent. A promising alternative is edge computing, which provides cloud-like capabilities at the edge of the network by pushing storage and processing capabilities from centralized nodes to edge devices that are closer to where the data are gathered, resulting in reduced network delays [2], [3].
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This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine. © 2023 IEEE.