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Energy Aware Routing in High Capacity Overlays in Wireless Sensor Networks

Shaikot, Shariful Hasan
One of the most critical issues in wireless sensor networks is the limited availability of energy within the network nodes. Recently, the idea of deploying a high capacity overlay using virtual sinks with long range 802.11 links to ease congestion in the underlying sensor network has been explored. Since the VSs are battery powered, it is important to conserve energy in them too. To reduce the energy consumption, usually the shortest path (SP) route is preferred in networks. However, if only a few of the VS nodes are sending data, routing along the SP may require some additional VS nodes to be turned on just for the relaying purpose which otherwise could be turned off. Since the link bandwidth is high in 802.11 (Mbps) and the sensory data generation rate is low (Kbps), a high idle-mode energy cost may be incurred in the relaying VS nodes. In this paper, we explore the idea of using minimum connected dominating set (MCDS) based routes, since more energy can be saved by switching the non-dominator VSs to sleep mode and by funneling all the data through the MCDS nodes. We propose an energy-aware routing scheme that considers both the SP route and the MCDS nodes to discover a path along the VS network to the physical sink. Performance evaluation of the routing scheme shows a notable reduction in the overall energy consumption in the network with respect to SP routing while simultaneously maintaining an acceptable packet delivery rate.