Optimizing Data Capture From a Sensor Network



This article presents an energy efficient routing algorithm for gathering data in a wireless sensor network. The scenario envisaged is that of remote sensors collecting data which is gathered at a single gateway computer. Such networks are typically wireless with the sensor monitors powered by solar, or limited life, batteries. A distinguishing characteristic is therefore the limited power of the monitors. The algorithm is truly distributed and identifies routing direction(s) for each monitor which will ensure that all sampled data is collected at the Gateway, unless no such routing exists. The run time of the algorithm is essentially linear in the number of monitors. The algorithm accommodates dynamic networks and can be adapted to take account of link capacity limits as well as the monitor capacity limits for which it is designed. Moreover, it can be run to find a routing which optimizes data capture independent of the rate of sampling.

 The performance of the algorithm is illustrated on an environmental network, responsible for monitoring pollution levels in a river and acting as a flood warning system. We show how the capacity for data capture is doubled without any additional power.

 The methodology presented in this paper is applicable to a wide range of ad hoc and pervasive communication networks. It is a good example of the power of Operational Research analysis.

Contact information:

Prof.dr. S.L. van de Velde