Load Balancing of Multi-Sink Sensor Networks with Asymmetric Topology and Traffic Patterns

Yuta AOKI  Tadao OISHI  Masaki BANDAI  Munehiro FUKUDA  Takashi WATANABE  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E96-B   No.10   pp.2601-2614
Publication Date: 2013/10/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E96.B.2601
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Network
wireless sensor network (WSN),  load balancing,  energy saving,  routing,  Voronio diagram,  

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In wireless sensor networks, energy depletion of bottleneck nodes which have more data packets to relay than others, dominates the network lifetime referred to as the funnel effect problem. To overcome this problem, multiple sink methods have been proposed where sensor nodes send observed data packets toward several sinks to distribute traffic load of bottleneck nodes. If both of the topology and the traffic pattern are symmetric, bottleneck nodes are located near sinks. However, in a general sensor network with an asymmetric topology and/or an asymmetric traffic pattern, bottleneck nodes may exist any place in the network. In this paper, we propose DCAM (DispersiveCast of packets to Avoid bottleneck nodes for Multiple sink sensor network), which is a load balancing method to improve lifetime of a sensor network with an asymmetric topology and an asymmetric traffic pattern. DCAM first finds bottleneck nodes, and then balances the load on the bottleneck nodes. Selected nodes send data packets to several sinks dispersively according to some criteria. The criteria classify DCAM into three variations: DCAM with probability (DCAM-P), DCAM with moving boarder (DCAM-MB), and DCAM with round-robin (DCAM-RR). This paper gives details of the DCAM methods, and thereafter evaluates them with asymmetric topologies and asymmetric traffic patterns. To deal with these dynamic asymmetry, the topology is modeled by a grid network with virtual holes that are defined as vacant places of nodes in the network. Asymmetry of traffic pattern is modeled by defining a hot area where nodes have heavier data traffic than the others. The evaluations are conducted as changing hot-area traffic patterns as well as fixing hot-area patterns. The results show that DCAM improves network lifetime up to 1.87 times longer than the conventional schemes, (i.e., nearest sink transmissions and optimal dispersive cast of packet). We also discuss DCAM on several aspects such as overhead, energy consumption, and applications.