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A harmony-seeking firefly swarm to the periodic replacement of damaged sensors by a team of mobile robots

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4 Author(s)
Falcon, R. ; Sch. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Univ. of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada ; Xu Li ; Nayak, A. ; Stojmenovic, I.

Mobile robots nowadays can assist wireless sensor networks (WSNs) in many jeopardizing scenarios that unexpectedly arise during their operational lifetime. We focus on an emerging kind of cooperative networking system in which a small team of robotic agents lies at a base station. Their mission is to service an already-deployed WSN by periodically replacing all damaged sensors in the field with passive, spare ones so as to preserve the existing network coverage. This novel application scenario is here baptized as “multiple-carrier coverage repair” (MC2R) and modeled as a new generalization of the vehicle routing problem. A hybrid metaheuristic algorithm is put forward to derive nearly-optimal sensor replacement trajectories for the robotic fleet in a short running time. The composite scheme relies on a swarm of artificial fireflies in which each individual follows the exploratory principles featured by Harmony Search. Infeasible candidate solutions are gradually driven into feasibility under the influence of a weak Pareto dominance relationship. A repair heuristic is finally applied to yield a full-blown solution. To the best of our knowledge, our scheme is the first one in literature that tackles MC2R instances. Empirical results indicate that promising solutions can be achieved in a limited time span.

Published in:

Communications (ICC), 2012 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

10-15 June 2012