Infoscience

Journal article

The Beauty of the Commons: Optimal Load Sharing by Base Station Hopping in Wireless Sensor Networks

In wireless sensor networks (WSNs), the base station (BS) is a critical sensor node whose failure causes severe data losses. Deploying multiple fixed BSs improves the robustness, yet requires all BSs to be installed with large batteries and large energy-harvesting devices due to the high energy consumption of BSs. In this paper, we propose a scheme to coordinate the multiple deployed BSs such that the energy supplies required by individual BSs can be substantially reduced. In this scheme, only one BS is selected to be active at a time and the other BSs act as regular sensor nodes. We first present the basic architecture of our system, including how we keep the network running with only one active BS and how we manage the handover of the role of the active BS. Then, we propose an algorithm for adaptively selecting the active BS under the spatial and temporal variations of energy resources. This algorithm is simple to implement but is also asymptotically optimal under mild conditions. Finally, by running simulations and real experiments on an outdoor testbed, we verify that the proposed scheme is energy-efficient, has low communication overhead and reacts rapidly to network changes.

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