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Nowadays Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are used to provide vast coverage areas in environmental applications, and thus relay nodes with wide transmission ranges are employed. However, these relays usually operate under harsh conditions with a very limited energy resources, making the network very prone to severe node failures and disconnectivities. In this paper, we propose a proactive Optimized Relay Repositioning (ORR) approach in which relays are regularly repositioned to maintain a specific level of fault-tolerance in addition to minimize the total network energy consumption. ORR is a grid-based approach, in which nodes are placed on grid vertices to limit the huge search space in large-scale environmental applications. This approach is formulated as a Mixed Integer Linear Program (MILP) for solid mathematical solutions. Extensive simulations and comparisons, assuming practical considerations of signal propagation and connectivity, show that our fault-tolerant approach can introduce a significant lifetime extension as compared to other heuristic and MILP-based approaches.
Date of Conference: 4-8 July 2011