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Wireless networks have historically considered support for mobile elements as an extra overhead. However, recent research has provided means by which network can take advantage of mobile elements. Particularly, in the case of wireless sensor networks, mobile elements are deliberately built into the system to improve the lifetime of the network, and act as mechanical carriers of data. The mobile element, which is controlled, visits the nodes to collect their data before their buffers are full. It may happen that the sensor nodes are sampling at different rates, in which case some nodes need to be visited more frequently than others. We present this problem of scheduling the mobile element in the network, so that there is no data loss due to buffer overflow. We prove that the problem is NP-complete and give an ILP formulation. We give some practical algorithms, and compare their performances.
Date of Conference: 5-8 Dec. 2004