Project Title: Dynamic Topology Control for Wireless Sensor Networks


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Sponsor: UNC-Charlotte Faculty Research Grant (FRG)

Duration: July 2006 - December 2007

Investigators: Dr. Yu Wang (PI)

Students: Fan Li



Wireless sensor network is a new technology suitable for a wide range of commercial and military applications and is revolutionizing the way we live, work, and interact with the physical environment. Topology control is one primary challenge in sensor networks. In this project, we focus on designing and analyzing new dynamic topology control protocols for wireless sensor networks. This research will improve the lifetime and performance of sensor networks significantly, and enhance the ability of wireless sensor networks in different applications. We expect this research to advance the topology control techniques in wireless sensor networks by providing new and efficient methods to construct and maintain a highly dynamic topology with good quality. The new techniques not only guarantee the quality of routing protocols running on the topology, but also reduce the energy consummations of the topology to improve the lifetime of the whole network.


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Develop efficient protocols and algorithms for dynamic topology control in wireless sensor networks, which can optimize the power-efficiency of the sensor network while guaranteeing the performance of communications in a highly dynamic network.


Research Activities:

We have studied the following topology control problems in wireless sensor networks:

  1. Designed the distributed virtual backbone formation algorithms for sensor networks based on dynamic cluster techniques.

  2. Designed the power-efficient topology control protocols for three dimensional sensor networks using geometric approaches.

  3. Designed the fault tolerance self-protection protocols for sensor networks.

For these three problems, we provided both theoretical analysis and simulation evaluation of the performances of our proposed methods.

Research Findings and Outcomes:

During the above research activities, we made the following research findings:

  1. For distributed virtual backbone formation, we gave an efficient distributed method to form a weighted connected dominating set (the backbone). We proved that the formed backbone could achieve constant approximation ratio on cost optimization.
    Related Publication: Y. Wang, W. Wang, X.-Y. Li, "Efficient Distributed Low-Cost Backbone Formation for Wireless Networks", IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, Vol. 17, No. 7, 681-693, 2006.

  2. For topology control for 3D sensor networks, we proposed a set of new geometric structures, which can be used as network topology. We proved that some of the structures could guarantee the power efficiency of all paths.
    Related Publication: Y. Wang, F. Li, T.A. Dahlberg, "Energy-Efficient Topology Control for 3-Dimensional Sensor Networks", International Journal of Sensor Networks, Volume: 4, Number: 1/2, Page: 68-78, 2008.

  3. For self-protection problem in sensor networks, we gave a method to select a subset of sensor nodes to be active. The active sensors can guarantee all sensor nodes are protected by at least p active sensor nodes.
    Related Publication: (1) Y. Wang, X.-Y. Li, Q. Zhang, "Efficient Self Protection Algorithms for Static Wireless Sensor Networks", the 50th IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference (Globecom), Washington, D.C., November 2007.

    (2) Y. Wang, X.-Y. Li, Q. Zhang,  "Efficient Algorithms for p-Self-Protection Problem in Static Wireless Sensor Network", IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS), Volume: 19, Number: 10, Pages: 1426-1438, October 2008.