Tactical network load balancing in multi-gateway wireless sensor networks
White, Kevin A.
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A tactical wireless sensor network (WSN) is a distributed network that facilitates wireless information gathering within a region of interest. For this reason, WSNs are finding increased use by the Department of Defense. A challenge in the deployment of WSNs is the limited battery power of each sensor node. This has a significant impact on the service life of the network. In order to improve the lifespan of the network, load balancing techniques using efficient routing mechanisms must be employed such that traffic is distributed between sensor nodes and gateway(s). In this thesis, we study load balancing from a cross-layer point of view, specifically considering energy efficiency. We investigate the impact of deploying single and multiple gateways on the following established energy aware load balancing routing techniques: direct routing, minimum transmission energy, low energy adaptive cluster head routing, and zone clustering. Based on the node die out statistics observed with these protocols, we develop a novel, energy efficient zone clustering algorithm called EZone. Via extensive simulations using MATLAB, we analyze the effectiveness of these algorithms on network performance for single and multiple gateway scenarios and show that the EZone algorithm maximizes network lifetime and service area coverage.
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