A Biologically Inspired Networking Model for Wireless Sensor Networks



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Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have emerged in strategic applications such as target detection, localization, and tracking in battlefields, where the large-scale na- ture renders centralized control prohibitive. In addition, the finite batteries in sensor nodes demand energy-aware network control. In this thesis, we propose an energy- efficient topology management model inspired by biological inter-cellular signaling schemes. The model allows sensor nodes to cluster around imminent targets in a purely distributed and autonomous fashion. In particular, nodes in the target vicinity collaborate to form clusters based on their relative observation quality values. Sub- sequently, the clustered sensor nodes compete based on their energy levels until some of them gain active status while the rest remain idle, again according to a distributed algorithm based on biological processes. A final phase of the model has the active cluster members compete until one of them becomes the clusterhead. We examine the behavior of such a model in both finite-size and infinite-size networks. Specifically, we show that the proposed model is inherently stable and achieves superior energy efficiency against reference protocols for networks of finite size. Furthermore, we dis- cuss the behavior of the model in the asymptotic case when the number of nodes goes to infinity. In this setting, we study the average number of cluster members.