Planning the deployment of fault-tolerant wireless sensor networks

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Sitanayah, Lanny
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University College Cork
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Since Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are subject to failures, fault-tolerance becomes an important requirement for many WSN applications. Fault-tolerance can be enabled in different areas of WSN design and operation, including the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer and the initial topology design. To be robust to failures, a MAC protocol must be able to adapt to traffic fluctuations and topology dynamics. We design ER-MAC that can switch from energy-efficient operation in normal monitoring to reliable and fast delivery for emergency monitoring, and vice versa. It also can prioritise high priority packets and guarantee fair packet deliveries from all sensor nodes. Topology design supports fault-tolerance by ensuring that there are alternative acceptable routes to data sinks when failures occur. We provide solutions for four topology planning problems: Additional Relay Placement (ARP), Additional Backup Placement (ABP), Multiple Sink Placement (MSP), and Multiple Sink and Relay Placement (MSRP). Our solutions use a local search technique based on Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedures (GRASP). GRASP-ARP deploys relays for (k,l)-sink-connectivity, where each sensor node must have k vertex-disjoint paths of length ≤ l. To count how many disjoint paths a node has, we propose Counting-Paths. GRASP-ABP deploys fewer relays than GRASP-ARP by focusing only on the most important nodes – those whose failure has the worst effect. To identify such nodes, we define Length-constrained Connectivity and Rerouting Centrality (l-CRC). Greedy-MSP and GRASP-MSP place minimal cost sinks to ensure that each sensor node in the network is double-covered, i.e. has two length-bounded paths to two sinks. Greedy-MSRP and GRASP-MSRP deploy sinks and relays with minimal cost to make the network double-covered and non-critical, i.e. all sensor nodes must have length-bounded alternative paths to sinks when an arbitrary sensor node fails. We then evaluate the fault-tolerance of each topology in data gathering simulations using ER-MAC.
MAC protocol , Network deployment planning , Node-disjoint paths , Centrality
Sitanayah, L. 2013. Planning the deployment of fault-tolerant wireless sensor networks. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.