Title page for ETD etd-03162012-123800

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Rimer, Suvendi Chinnappen
Email suvendic@uj.ac.za
URN etd-03162012-123800
Document Title Energy efficient communication models in wireless sensor and actor networks
Degree PhD(Eng)
Department Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Advisor Name Title
Dr G P Hancke Co-Supervisor
Prof G P Hancke Supervisor
  • wireless sensor networks
  • routing
  • small world networks
  • node longevity
  • network lifetime
  • energy efficiency
  • robustness
  • mobile sink path
  • uncertainty
  • info-gap decision theory
  • wireless sensor actor networks
  • mobile nodes
Date 2012-04-23
Availability unrestricted
Sensor nodes in a wireless sensor network (WSN) have a small, non-rechargeable power supply. Each message transmission or reception depletes a sensor node’s energy. Many WSN applications are ad-hoc deployments where a sensor node is only aware of its immediate neighbours. The lack of a predefined route path and the need to restrict the amount of communication that occurs within the application area impose constraints on WSNs not prevalent in other types of networks.

An area of active research has been how to notify the central sink (or monitoring hub) about an event in real-time by utilising the minimum number of messages to route a message from a source node to the destination sink node. In this thesis, strategies to limit communication within a WSN application area, while ensuring that events are reported on and responded to in real-time, is presented.

A solution based on modelling a WSN as a small world network and then transmitting an initialisation message (IM) on network start-up to create multiple route paths from any sensor node to one or more sinks is proposed. The reason for modelling a WSN as a small world network is to reduce the number of nodes required to re-transmit a message from a source sensor node to a sink. The purpose of sending an IM at network start-up is to ensure that communication within the WSN is minimised.

When routing a message to a static sink, the nodes closest to the static sink receive a disproportionate number of messages, resulting in their energy being consumed earlier. The use of mobile sinks has been proposed but to our knowledge no studies have been undertaken on the paths these mobile sinks should follow. An algorithm to determine the optimum path for mobile sinks to follow in a WSN application area is described. The purpose of an optimum path is to allow more equitable usage of all nodes to transfer an event message to a mobile sink.

The idea of using multiple static sinks placed at specific points in the small world model is broadened to include using multiple mobile sinks called actors to move within a WSN application area and respond to an event in real-time. Current coordination solutions to determine which actor(s) must respond to the event result in excessive message communication and limit the real-time response to an event. An info gap decision theory (IGDT) model to coordinate which actor or set of actors should respond to the event is described.

A comparison of the small world routing (SWR) model against routing using flooding and gossiping shows that the SWR model significantly reduces the number of messages transmitted within the network. An analysis of the number of IMs transmitted and received at individual node level shows that prudent selection of the hop count (number of additional nodes required to route a message to sink) to a sink node will result in a reduced number of messages transmitted and received per node within the network. The use of the IGDT model results in a robust decision on the actor(s) chosen to respond to an event even when uncertainty about the location and available energy of other actor(s) exists.

© 2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Rimer, SC 2011, Energy efficient communication models in wireless sensor and actor networks, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03162012-123800/ >


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