University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

Theoretical Results on Base Station Movement Problem for Sensor Networks

Date: 2008-10-03
Time: 3:30 P.M 4:30 P.M
Location: Holmes Hall 389
Speaker: Prof. Thomas Hou Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA


The benefits of using mobile base station to prolong sensor network lifetime have been well recognized. Since base station is the sink node for data collected by all the sensor nodes in the network, this approach aims to alleviate the traffic burden from a fixed set of sensor nodes near the base station to other sensor nodes in the network, and thus could extend network lifetime significantly.

 Although the potential benefit of using mobile base station to prolong sensor network lifetime is significant, the theoretical difficulty of this problem is enormous. There are two components that are tightly coupled in this problem. First, the location of the base station is now time-dependent, i.e., at different time instances, the sink node (base station) may be at different locations. Second, the multi-hop traffic (or flow) routing appears to be dependent on both time and location of the base station. As a result, an optimization problem with the objective of maximizing network lifetime needs to consider both base station location and flow routing, both of which are time-dependent. Due to these difficulties, existing solutions to this problem remain heuristic at best and cannot offer any provably performance guarantee to network lifetime.

 In this talk, we present some new theoretical results regarding the optimal movement of a mobile base station. We show that the proposed solution can guarantee the network lifetime is at least (1 − ε) of the maximum network lifetime, where ε can be made arbitrarily small depending on required precision.

 This work was presented at IEEE INFOCOM 2008 and won a Best Paper Award.