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In this paper, we develop an energy-efficient, fault-tolerant approach for collaborative signal and information processing (CSIP) among multiple sensor nodes using a mobile-agent-based computing model. In this model, instead of each sensor node sending local information to a processing center for integration, as is typical in client/server-based computing, the integration code is moved to the sensor nodes through mobile agents. The energy efficiency objective and the fault tolerance objective always conflict with each other and present unique challenge to the design of CSIP algorithms. In general, energy-efficient approaches try to limit the redundancy in the algorithm so that minimum amount of energy is required for fulfilling a certain task. On the other hand, redundancy is needed for providing fault tolerance since sensors might be faulty, malfunctioning, or even malicious. A balance has to be struck between these two objectives. We discuss the potential of mobile-agent-based collaborative processing in providing progressive accuracy while maintaining certain degree of fault tolerance. We evaluate its performance compared to the client/server-based collaboration from perspectives of energy consumption and execution time through both simulation and analytical study. Finally, we take collaborative target classification as an application example to show the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2003