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Recently, there has been a great deal of research on using mobility in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) to facilitate surveillance and reconnaissance in a wide deployment area. Besides providing an extended sensing coverage, node mobility along with spatial correlation introduces new network dynamics, which could lead to the traffic patterns fundamentally different from the traditional (Markovian) models. In this paper, a novel traffic modeling scheme for capturing these dynamics is proposed that takes into account the statistical patterns of node mobility and spatial correlation. The contributions made in this paper are twofold. First, it is shown that the joint effects of mobility and spatial correlation can lead to bursty traffic. More specifically, a high mobility variance and small spatial correlation can give rise to pseudo-long-range-dependent (LRD) traffic (high bursty traffic), whose autocorrelation function decays slowly and hyperbolically up to a certain cutoff time lag. Second, due to the ad hoc nature of WSNs, certain relay nodes may have several routes passing through them, necessitating local traffic aggregations. At these relay nodes, our model predicts that the aggregated traffic also exhibits the bursty behavior characterized by a scaled power-law decayed autocovariance function. According to these findings, a novel traffic shaping protocol using movement coordination is proposed to facilitate effective and efficient resource provisioning strategy. Finally, simulation results reveal a close agreement between the traffic pattern predicted by our theoretical model and the simulated transmissions from multiple independent sources, under specific bounds of the observation intervals.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2011