Skip to Main Content
In multihop wireless sensor networks that are often characterized by many-to-one (convergecast) traffic patterns, problems related to energy imbalance among sensors often appear. Sensors closer to a data sink are usually required to forward a large amount of traffic for sensors farther from the data sink. Therefore, these sensors tend to die early, leaving areas of the network completely unmonitored and reducing the functional network lifetime. In our study, we explore possible sensor network deployment strategies that maximize sensor network lifetime by mitigating the problem of the hot spot around the data sink. Strategies such as variable-range transmission power control with optimal traffic distribution, mobile-data-sink deployment, multiple-data-sink deployment, nonuniform initial energy assignment, and intelligent sensor/relay deployment are investigated. We suggest a general model to analyze and evaluate these strategies. In this model, we not only discover how to maximize the network lifetime given certain network constraints but also consider the factor of extra costs involved in more complex deployment strategies. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis on the maximum achievable sensor network lifetime for different deployment strategies, and it also provides practical cost-efficient sensor network deployment guidelines.