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Robert Ghrist : Sheaves and Sensors

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This work is motivated by a fundamental problem in sensor networks -- the need to aggregate redundant sensor data across a network. We focus on a simple problem of enumerating targets with a network of sensors that can detect nearby targets, but cannot identify or localize them. We show a clear, clean relationship between this problem and the topology of constructable sheaves. In particular, an integration theory from sheaf theory that uses Euler characteristic as a measure provides a computable, robust, and powerful tool for data aggregation.

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