Wireless micro-sensors introduce a new frontier in sensing devices and data acquisition capabilities. These sensors, capable of sensing, processing data, and short-range communication, can be spread over regions to form ad hoc wireless sensor networks (WSN) so as to deliver aggregate information from geographically diverse areas. This aggregate data gathering and processing induces a synergistic effect and enables a sensor network to complete sensing tasks that may never be feasible using a single, perhaps powerful, sensor. This new paradigm in sensing devices is not without many fundamental challenges, one being a constrained energy resource, which first need to be solved before the true capabilities of these networks may be realized. This thesis will discuss the models and techniques developed as an attempt to maximize the capability of a WSN. The premise used in the research is that the capability of a WSN can be maximize by developing a scheme that can duplicate the optimal energy efficient behavior of individual wireless sensors in a contention dominated, distributed decision-making, network environment. This optimal energy efficient behavior as determined by an analytically derived model and a mixed integer programming model will be presented. The analytical model enables the optimal sensor behavior to be calculated given a contention-less environment, and the integer programming model determines the optimal ON/OFF/transmission schedule for each sensor in a contention dominated network, over time. Finally, the optimal behavior found in the two models has been converted into a preliminary heuristic protocol that coordinates sensors in "real time." The key aspects of this protocol along with its effectiveness, as compared to the optimal, are also presented.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Wireless sensor networks; Wireless LANs; Wireless communication systems
Department, Program, or Center
Industrial and Systems Engineering (KGCOE)
Cress, Cory, "Maximizing the capability of wireless sensor networks" (2003). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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