Energy Management in Wireless Sensor Network Operations



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In this dissertation, we develop and analyze effective energy management policies for wireless sensor networks in emerging applications. Existing methods in this area have primarily focused on energy conservation through the use of various communication techniques. However, in most applications of wireless sensor networks, savings in energy come at the expense of several performance parameters. Therefore it is necessary to manage energy consumption while being conscious of its effects on performance. In most cases, such energy-performance issues are specific to the nature of the application. Our research has been motivated by new techniques and applications where efficient energy-performance trade-off decisions are required.

We primarily study the following trade-off cases: energy and node replacement costs (Case I), energy and delay (Case II), and energy and availability (Case III). We consider these trade-off situations separately in three distinct problem scenarios. In the first problem (Case I), we consider minimizing energy and node replacement costs in underwater wireless sensor networks for seismic monitoring application. In this case, we introduce mixed-integer programming (MIP) formulations based on a combined routing and node replacement policy approach and develop effective policies for large problem instances where our MIP models are intractable. In the second problem (Case II), we develop a Markov decision process (MDP) model to manage energy-delay trade-off in network coding which is a new energy-saving technique for wireless networks. Here we derive properties of the optimal policy and develop in- sights into other simple policies that are later shown to be efficient in particular situations. In the third problem (Case III), we consider an autonomous energy harvesting sensor network where nodes are turned off from time to time to operate in an ?energy-neutral? manner. In this case, we use stochastic fluid-flow analysis to evaluate and analyze the availability of the sensor nodes under effective energy management policies.

In each of the above problem cases, we develop analytical formulations, and derive and/or analyze policies that effectively manage the considered energy-performance trade-off. Overall, our analyses and solution methods make new contributions to both operations research and communication networking literature.