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Sensor networks hold the promise of facilitating large-scale, real-time data processing in complex environments. In most existing research, sensors are assumed to be static nodes. In this paper, we propose a novel idea: to improve sensor network performance by deploying a small number of mobile sensors in a sensor network where most nodes are static sensors. Specifically, we want to increase the network coverage, provide better routing performance and better connectivity for sensor networks by using mobile sensors. We propose several effective schemes about where to move the mobile sensors, which can provide the most cost-effective approach to improve network performance. These schemes are evaluated by simulation experiments. Our simulations show that a small number of mobile sensors can significantly improve network coverage, increase throughput, reduce delay and energy consumption, and a sensor network with a small portion of mobile sensors performs better than a sensor network with more static sensors.
Date of Conference: 7-9 April 2005