and could provide venues for such work to be explored as well as foster and fund joint graduate programs or joint curriculum endeavors.

Other Agencies

Other agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) can play an important role by sharing their specialized knowledge in this area with others working in less specialized areas in the broader community. These and other federal agencies should coordinate their EmNet-related development efforts with the programs at DARPA, NSF, and NIST to ensure that open-platform systems of various scales, low-power components and their software drivers, debugging techniques and software, and traffic generators can all be shared among research programs when applicable, avoiding redundancy in those parts of the system where there is more certainty. It is expected that this sharing and associated coordination needs can be supported by the various organizations and groups associated with federal information technology research and development.


EmNets will radically transform the way in which people interact with and control their physical environment. They have tremendous implications for all aspects of society, from national defense and government applications to wide-ranging commercial concerns to systems that private individuals will use in everyday life. As it moves forward in the research areas described above, the research community, including academia, industry, and funding agencies, must remain cognizant of one basic message: New approaches to the study of systems (not just individual components) must be developed in order to harness the emergent properties of the many networked, physically embedded computing elements that will make up EmNets. Attention must be paid to designing systems in a way that incorporates strategies from a range of disciplines and to designing systems that can address a range of problem domains. Without concerted effort on the part of the research community to address the questions outlined in this report, the potential inherent in networked systems of embedded computers will not be realized. With significant inter- and multidisciplinary research efforts that focus on the systems issues that EmNets bring to the fore, the promise of this technology can be realized.

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