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Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) require appropriate protocols that make judicious use of the finite energy resources of the sensor nodes. In this paper, we investigate the potential energy conservation achieved by balancing the traffic throughout the WSN. We show that distributing the traffic generated by each sensor node through multiple paths instead of using a single path allows significant energy savings. In order to quantitatively evaluate the benefits of the proposed load balancing technique, a new analytical model for load-balanced systems is elaborated and approved by simulations.
Date of Conference: Nov. 30 2008-Dec. 4 2008