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In wireless sensor networks (WSNs), the nodes are usually powered by batteries with limited capacities, which has become one of the main challenges to the wide deployment of WSN-based applications. The overall network lifetime, which is usually determined by the node with the shortest lifetime because of the unbalanced energy consumption, becomes a major issue. Aiming at this, we consider the optimization problem of how to maximize the data amount that can be transmitted from the source node to the sink node, given an energy-limited wireless sensor network. Specifically, we first analyze the problem on the basis of the max-flow min-cut theorem to obtain the maximum relay capacity in terms of the number of successfully transmitted packets from the source node to the sink node, from the theoretical point of view. Then, we propose our algorithms to achieve the optimal solution. In this way, the expected network lifetime can be maximized. Further, we also prove the correctness of the proposed algorithms. Extensive simulations show that significant performance enhancement can be achieved by using our proposed algorithms.
Date of Conference: 5-9 Dec. 2011