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Clustering is considered a common and an effective method to prolong the lifetime of a wireless sensor network. This paper provides a new insight into the cluster formation process based on uniformly quantizing the residual energy of the sensor nodes. The unified simulation framework provided herein, not only aids to reveal an optimum number of clusters but also the required number of quantization levels to maximize the network's lifetime by improving energy load balancing for both homogeneous and heterogeneous sensor networks. The provided simulation results clearly show that the uniformly quantized energy level-based clustering provides improved load balancing and hence, a longer network lifetime than existing methods.
Date of Conference: 18-25 July 2010