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A wireless Sensor Network (WSN) consists of many low-cost and energy-constrained sensing nodes. One method that offers a great potential for improving both the lifetime and the durability of WSNs is to deploy multiple data sinks instead of the standard approach relying on just one sink. In this paper we focus on multiple sink deployment problems and discuss different methods to estimate the optimal placement of a given number of sinks. Most previous works study unconstrained sink node placement, assuming that the sinks can be placed anywhere. In practice, there may be areas which are occupied by obstacles, or are beyond wireless range, and therefore not viable for sink placement. Our method inherently considers deployment constraints by inspecting the routing topology and therefore avoids connection black holes when proposing optimal sink locations. We have performed extensive simulations in a wide range of realistic scenarios and the results show that a constraint based deployment algorithm is paramount to get the full potential of multiple sink WSNs.
Date of Conference: 17-22 Oct. 2011