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We consider a hybrid wireless sensor network with static and mobile nodes. Static sensors monitor the environment and report events occurring in the sensing field. Mobile sensors are then dispatched to visit these event locations to conduct more advanced analysis. A big challenge is how to schedule these mobile sensors' traveling paths in an energy-balanced way so that their overall lifetime is maximized. We formulate this problem as a multiround sensor dispatch problem and show it to be NP-complete. Then, we propose a centralized and a distributed heuristics to schedule mobile sensors' traveling paths. Our heuristics allow arbitrary numbers of mobile sensors and event locations in each round and have an energy-balanced concept in mind. The centralized heuristic tries to minimize mobile sensors' moving energy while keeping their energy consumption balanced. The distributed heuristic utilizes a grid structure for event locations to bid for mobile sensors. Through simulations, we show the effectiveness of our schemes. This paper contributes in defining a more general multiround sensor dispatch problem and proposing energy-efficient solutions to it.
Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:21 , Issue: 12 )
Date of Publication: Dec. 2010