Braided Routing Technique to Balance Traffic Load in Wireless Sensor Networks

Braided Routing Technique to Balance Traffic Load in Wireless Sensor Networks

Apostolos Demertzis (Ionian University, Corfu, Greece) and Konstantinos Oikonomou (Ionian University, Corfu, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/IJMSTR.2016100101
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Many-to-one wireless sensor networks suffer from an extreme variation of traffic load between nodes. Sensor nodes near the sink consume much more energy than distant ones, resulting in the energy hole problem (global variation of load). In addition, even nodes located at the same distance from the sink experience very different traffic load with each other (local variation). This uneven distribution of traffic load, both globally and locally, results in a severe shortening of the time until first node runs out of battery. This work focuses on balancing the load of equally-distant nodes from the sink by sharing each one's load among its next-hop neighbors. Eventually, packets are travelling from node to sink by following interlaced paths. The proposed routing mechanism, called braided routing, is a simple one and can be applied over any cost-based routing, incurring a negligible overhead. Simulation results show that the local variance of load is reduced nearly 20-60% on average while the time until first death can be prolonged more than twice in many cases and the lifetime about 15%.
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Many routings for many-to-one WSNs have been proposed in recent past, aiming at balancing energy consumption and/or prolonging lifetime (Toh, 2001), (Ishmanov, Malik & Kim, 2011). They can be divided into two broad categories, the cost-based and the non-cost-based routings.

Cost-based (aka minimum cost) routings are the simplest and most common method to determine the exact path from each node to the sink. According to this method this path is the one that minimizes the total amount of a certain metric, such as distance, number of hops, energy consumption. The metric is actually the cost (or “weight” in terms of graph theory) of each link. Based on these link-costs, a distributed version of Disjkstra’s or Bellman-Ford shortest path algorithm is applied, resulting in the desirable minimum-cost paths. The summation of link-costs along a path, from each node to the sink, is considered as the cost of this node.

The proposed method needs a cost for each node in order to specify the braided paths and for that purpose it uses a cost-based routing, referred to as the basic routing. Three different metrics will be used in this work. These are:

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