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In Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), link unidirectionality is an unavoidable phenomenon. The existence of unidirectional links can be attributed to several physical factors induced by the transceiver characteristics as well as other environmental phenomena. Transmission power heterogeneity is the dominant paradigm that leads to unidirectionality. In this study, we investigate the effects of transmission power heterogeneity on the lifetime of WSNs through a novel Linear Programming (LP) framework both for networks that utilize only bidirectional links and for those that can use unidirectional links in addition to bidirectional links. Our results show that transmission power heterogeneity can lead to more than 25% decrease in network lifetime for protocols that can operate only on bidirectional links when compared to a network without any heterogeneity. However, if the use of unidirectional links is also enabled then, the decrease in network lifetime is at most 12%.
Date of Conference: 21-23 June 2012