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Wireless sensor networks utilize large numbers of wireless sensor nodes to collect information from their sensing terrain. Wireless sensor nodes are battery-powered devices. Energy saving is always crucial to the lifetime of a wireless sensor network. Recently, many algorithms are proposed to tackle the energy saving problem in wireless sensor networks. In these algorithms, however, data collection efficiency is usually compromised in return for gaining longer network lifetime. There are strong needs to develop wireless sensor networks algorithms with optimization priorities biased to aspects besides energy saving. In this paper, a delay-aware data collection network structure for wireless sensor networks is proposed. The objective of the proposed network structure is to minimize delays in the data collection processes of wireless sensor networks. Two network formation algorithms are designed to construct the proposed network structure in a centralized and a decentralized approach. Performances of the proposed network structure are evaluated using computer simulations. Simulation results show that, when comparing with other common network structures in wireless sensor networks, the proposed network structure is able to shorten the delays in the data collection process significantly.
Date of Publication: March 2011