Middleware is an important component for efficiently managing distributed systems. In sensor-actor networks, middleware describes the connection between nodes on a logical level independent of the actual mode of communication. In contrast to classic middleware applications which manage systems that have been configured by the developers, future sensor-actor networks will be highly self-organizing. Thus the middleware is responsible for supporting and realizing the various aspects of self-organization (self-configuration, self-optimization, self-healing, self-protection...) at the local (individual nodes) and global levels (the entire network). Heavy research is needed in this area, as today's middleware only partially fulfills this requirement.
Realtime capability is a further aspect of information processing in sensor-actor networks that plays a crucial role and must be supported by the middleware. The correlation of realtime capabilities and self-organization is largely unknown and therefore also requires a large amount of research.