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Mobility-assisted Hierarchy for Efficient Data Collection in Wireless Sensor Networks

Zuzhi Fan 1 and Yuanzhu Peter Chen 2
1. College of Information Science & Technology, Jinan University, China
2 Department of Computer Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Abstract— One fundamental task of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is to collect useful information from the sensory field or response users query. In such scenario, the gigantic amount of individual sensor readings will converge to the base station (BS) of the network. Thus, the “funnelling ef¬fect” which describes the convergence of data traffic towards data sinks remains a major threat to the network lifetime. In particular, those sensors near data sinks need to relay data for nodes that farther away and burn energy faster with the result that the network may become disconnected or dysfunctional.
In this paper, we investigate a heterogeneous sensor network by introducing a few mobile elements1, referred as aggregators into static sensor network and utilize the mobility to alleviate the ”funnelling effect”. In particular, these aggregators deploy themselves and worked as cluster heads. In such mobility-assisted hierarchy, we study the aggregator deployment problem for energy conservation and consider the integration of mobility and routing algorithms for lifetime elongation. Based on the extensive simulation, we show that such mobility-based hierarchy can significantly mitigate the ”funnelling effect” and then prolong network lifetime.

Index Terms— wireless sensor network, data collection, mo¬bility, deployment

Cite: Zuzhi Fan and Yuanzhu Peter Chen, "Mobility-assisted Hierarchy for Efficient Data Collection in Wireless Sensor Networks," Journal of Communications, vol. 5, no.9, pp.665-673, 2010. Doi: 10.4304/jcm.5.9.665-673