Dynamic Clustering with Relay Nodes (DCRN): A Clustering Technique to Maximize Stability in Wireless Sensor Networks with Relay Nodes

DOI: 10.4236/ijcns.2012.56047   PDF   HTML   XML   4,663 Downloads   7,959 Views   Citations

Abstract

With the growing popularity of wireless sensor networks, network stability has become a key area of current research. Different applications of wireless sensor networks demand stable sensing, coverage, and connectivity throughout their operational periods. In some cases, the death of just a single sensor node might disrupt the stability of the entire network. Therefore, a number of techniques have been proposed to improve the network stability. Clustering is one of the most commonly used techniques in this regard. Most clustering techniques assume the presence of high power sensor nodes called relay nodes and implicitly assume that these relay nodes serve as cluster heads in the network. This assumption may lead to faulty network behavior when any of the relay nodes becomes unavailable to its followers. Moreover, relay node based clustering techniques do not address the heterogeneity of sensor nodes in terms of their residual energies, which frequently occur during the operation of a network. To address these two issues, we present a novel clustering technique, Dynamic Clustering with Relay Nodes (DCRN), by considering the heterogeneity in residual battery capacity and by removing the assumption that relay nodes always serve as cluster-heads. We use an essence of the underlying mechanism of LEACH (Low-Energy Adaptive Clustering Hierarchy), which is one of the most popular clustering solutions for wireless sensor networks. In our work, we present four heuristics to increase network stability periods in terms of the time elapsed before the death of the first node in the network. Based on the proposed heuristics, we devise an algorithm for DCRN and formulate a mathematical model for its long-term rate of energy consumption. Further, we calculate the optimal percentage of relay nodes from our mathematical model. Finally, we verify the efficiency of DCRN and correctness of the mathematical model by exhaustive simulation results. Our simulation results reveal that DCRN enhances the network stability period by a significant margin in comparison to LEACH and its best-known variant.

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A. Al Islam, M. Hossain and V. Raghunathan, "Dynamic Clustering with Relay Nodes (DCRN): A Clustering Technique to Maximize Stability in Wireless Sensor Networks with Relay Nodes," International Journal of Communications, Network and System Sciences, Vol. 5 No. 6, 2012, pp. 368-385. doi: 10.4236/ijcns.2012.56047.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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