Title page for ETD etd-07122001-190827

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Mehrotra, Shashank
Author's Email Address shashank@vt.edu
URN etd-07122001-190827
Title Distributed Algorithms for Tasking Large Sensor Networks
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jones, Mark T. Committee Chair
Athanas, Peter M. Committee Member
Midkiff, Scott F. Committee Member
  • Wireless Micro-Sensors
  • Energy Efficient Protocols
  • Distributed Sensor Networks
  • Distributed Algorithms
Date of Defense 2001-07-10
Availability unrestricted
Recent advances in wireless communications along with developments in low-power circuit design and micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) have heralded the advent of compact and inexpensive wireless micro-sensor devices. A large network of such sensor nodes capable of communicating with each other provides significant new capabilities for automatically collecting and analyzing data from physical environments.

A notable feature of these networks is that more nodes than are strictly necessary may be deployed to cover a given region. This permits the system to provide reliable information, tolerate many types of faults, and prolong the effective service time. Like most wireless systems, achieving low power consumption is a key consideration in the design of these networks. This thesis presents algorithms for managing power at the distributed system level, rather than just at the individual node level. These distributed algorithms allocate work based on user requests to the individual sensor nodes that comprise the network. The primary goal of the algorithms is to provide a robust and scalable approach for tasking nodes that prolongs the effective life of the network.

Theoretical analysis and simulation results are presented to characterize the behavior of these algorithms. Results obtained from simulation experiments indicate that the algorithms can achieve a significant increase in the life of the network. In some cases this may be by an order of magnitude. The algorithms are also shown to ensure a good quality of sensor coverage while improving the network life. Finally, they are shown to be robust to faults and scale to large numbers of nodes.

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