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An m-EVBT Algorithm for Energy Efficient Routing in

Wireless Sensor Networks

Jaekwang Kim KwangHo Yoon Seunghoon Lee
Department of Electrical and Department of Electrical and Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Engineering,
Sungkyunkwan University, Sungkyunkwan University, Sungkyunkwan University,
300 Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu, 300 Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu, 300 Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu,
Suwon, Gyeunggi-do 440-764 Suwon, Gyeunggi-do 440-764 Suwon, Gyeunggi-do 440-764
+82 31 290 7987, Republic of Korea +82 31 290 7987, Republic of Korea +82 31 290 7987, Republic of Korea
Je-hee Jung Jee-Hyong Lee
Department of Electrical and Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering, Computer Engineering,
Sungkyunkwan University, Sungkyunkwan University,
300 Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu, 300 Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu,
Suwon, Gyeunggi-do 440-764 Suwon, Gyeunggi-do 440-764
+82 31 290 7987, Republic of Korea +82 31 290 7987, Republic of Korea

ABSTRACT General Terms

The virtual backbone concept is a method of efficient
Algorithms, Performance, Experimentation, Verification
communication in wireless sensor networks. A recent variant is
the energy-aware virtual backbone tree (EVBT) algorithm which
applies a tree structure to the backbone. This algorithm can Keywords
minimize the energy consumed in a data transfer between a sensor Sensor Network, Virtual Backbone Tree, Routing Protocol,
node and a tree node, but cannot minimize the energy Energy Consumption, EVBT Algorithm
consumption throughout the routing process. In this paper, we
propose a modified-EVBT (m-EVBT) algorithm which consumes
less energy than the EVBT algorithm over the entire routing
Sensor network technologies are an essential element in the
process. While EVBT algorithm uses physical distance to
creation of the ubiquitous environment. A sensor network is a set
determine the upstream link of a sensor node, the proposed
of sensor nodes used for gathering data in real space. The sensor
algorithm uses energy consumption information. The
nodes are constructed of four modules: a sensing unit, a
experimental results show that the m-EVBT algorithm consumes
processing unit, a communication unit, and a power unit [1]. The
less energy than the EVBT algorithm. It also efficiently constructs
main purpose of the sensor nodes is to collect and process data,
the backbone tree.
and to send that data to sink nodes which are connected to
computing devices and external networks. The sensor nodes can
Categories and Subject Descriptors sense various information types such as temperature, humidity,
C.2.1 [Network Architecture and Design]: Wireless movement, light, pressure, and sound, and thus are useful in
communication; C.2.2 [Network Protocols]: Routing protocol; military, circumstances, and home applications [2].
C.2.3 [Network Operations]: Network management; D.4.4
Sensor networks are similar to ad-hoc networks, but there are
[Communication Management]: Network communication
four main differences [3]. Sensor networks contain many sensors,
so cannot be used with IP-based routing protocols. Also, the
sensor network has the characteristic of cooperation. And they
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personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies of the small distances involved. Finally, the topology of the
provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or sensor network is very flexible. These characteristics can
are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that
copies bear thisadvantage
notice and and thatcitation
the full copies onbearthe this
first notice andcopy
page. To the sometimes be the merits of sensor networks. However, there are
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specific to redistribute toalists,
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ICUIMC-09, and/or 15-16,
a fee. 2009, Suwon, S. Korea most important limitation. The work is being done on low-battery
Copyright 2009 ACM 978-1-60558-405-8...$5.00.
routing protocols [4].
ICUIMC-09, January 15-16, 2009, Suwon, S. Korea
Copyright 2009 ACM 978-1-60558-405-8109101...$5.00 As part of this trend, the Virtual Backbone concept was
proposed to provide an infrastructure for efficient communication

in the sensor network [2]. The Energy-Aware Virtual Backbone node. It then applies a local cluster head as a router to the sink
Tree (EVBT) algorithm, which constructs the virtual backbone node. This causes an energy overhead problem at the cluster head,
using a tree structure, has been suggested [4]. This algorithm so the protocol periodically circulates the cluster head.
creates a tree with the sink node as its root. And the data as a
Location-based routing protocols and protocols that consider
message is relayed up the tree. The nodes which are not included
network flows or Quality of Service are examples of ongoing
in the tree determine the nearest node as upstream links. However,
this distance based selection is not for the energy efficiency of the
whole routing process but for the energy efficiency of the node
itself. 3. The m-EVBT Algorithm
In this paper, we propose the modified-EVBT (m-EVBT) 3.1 The Network Model
algorithm which is an improvement over the EVBT algorithm. In this work, we have made some assumptions for our network
Unlike the EVBT algorithm, the m-EVBT algorithm uses energy model. The sensor network is data-centric and structured as a set
consumption information instead of distance information to select of multiple sink nodes and sensor nodes. The sensor nodes have
the upstream links of the sensor nodes. This energy consumption limited energy. The network can control the sending power, is
information is transmitted to other nodes by the EVBT aware of its energy level, and determines its location through a
Construction Request (ECR) packet. We show through location-finding system. The sink nodes are connected to external
simulations that the total energy consumption of m-EVBT is networks or an external control system so that they have no
lower than the EVBT algorithm even including the additional cost energy limit. It also loads the mobilizer so that it is movable.
of constructing a backbone tree. We also show that the m-EVBT
algorithm provides for less energy consumption than the EVBT
algorithm during data transfer. 3.2 The Energy Model
The m-EVBT algorithm uses the first order energy model [9].
The paper is organized as follows: In Section 2, we will briefly
summarize the existing low-energy consumption algorithms.
Section 3 presents the m-EVBT algorithm which is an
improvement over the EVBT algorithm. We present a Etx ( D ) = 11 + 2 D n (1)
performance evaluation of our work in Section 4. Finally, Section
5 concludes the paper. E rx = 12 (2)

2. Related Work
Routing protocols in sensor networks are divided into three where Etx (D) indicates the energy consumption of the sending
methods. One is a data driven routing protocol, another is a
sensor node while it transmits one bit to another node at a
hierarchical routing protocol, and the third is a location-based
routing protocol. Some researchers classify the routing protocols distance, D . E rx indicates the energy consumption of the
into two methods: a flat routing protocol and a hierarchical receiving node while it receives one bit from a node which is at a
routing protocol [3]. distance, D . The value, 11 , expresses the energy per bit
The protocols used in the data driven method are the Flooding consumed by the transmitter. The value, 2 , expresses the energy
and Gossiping protocols. SPIN is an improvement over these two consumed by the op-amp to amplify the signal while sending. The
protocols [5] and transmits data by negotiating among three
value, 12 , is the energy per bit consumed by the receiver.
messages: ADV, REQ, and DAT. To prevent data duplication in
the Flooding or Gossiping protocol, SPIN transmits data from As in the path-loss energy model [10], in this model the energy
ADV messages to only the REQ response node. In the negotiation consumption increases by D as the distance increases, so
process, SPIN uses a descriptor that is smaller than the real data shorter transmission distances decrease energy consumption. In
as a meta-data for energy efficiency. the sending nodes, the energy consumption for each bit is as
The SPIN protocol transmits the sensed data to the sink node.
Another approach is for the sink node to ask for the required data.
This is the Directed-Diffusion protocol [6]. It uses the data-driven Erelay (d ) = 1 + 2 d n , (1 = 11 + 12 ) (3)
characteristics of the sensor network and the pair, <characteristic,
value>, to query the data that the sink node wants. First, the sink
node sends the interest message, which is a query for the data, and The sensor node consumes energy both while receiving and
determines the gradient from the target node to the sink node. while sending, so transmitting too much data through the relay
Then, it reinforces the path which has the best quality [7]. nodes can be as inefficient as sending the data without the relay
nodes. Equations (4) and (5) represent the energy consumption
The hierarchical routing protocol can perform a multi-hop during transmission between nodes separated by a distance, D
transmission from the clustered nodes to the sink node. It [9].
integrates the data in an upwards direction by following the
hierarchical structure.
n D
E path a1 12 (4)
The representative hierarchical protocol is LEACH [8]. It n 1 d char
creates clusters of nodes based on the receiving power of each

d char = n 1 /( 2 (n 1)) (5)
where s represents the pre-assigned small delay time in
where d char is defined by Equation (5) as the characteristic milliseconds, and random() is a function which returns a value
between 0 and 1.
distance. Equations (4) and (5) show that if the model of the
The node which received the ECR packet calculates f i and
sensor nodes is given by Equations (1) and (2), the minimum
energy consumption during transmission occurs when the distance waits for the delay, t d . If the node does not receive another ECR
between two nodes is d char . packet before t d is up, the node should belong to the backbone
tree, and determines that the node which sent the ECR packet is
3.3 The m-EVBT Algorithm an upstream link. On the other hand, if the node receives another
The m-EVBT algorithm is a tree generating algorithm which uses ECR packet before t d is up, the node does not belong to the
a sink node as a root. All data sensed by the sensor nodes are
backbone tree. To easily explain the m-EVBT algorithm, we
transmitted to the root along the backbone of the tree which is
make the following designations:
generated by the m-EVBT algorithm.
The generation of the tree starts when the sink node broadcasts
- White: the nodes that never received the ECR packet
the EVBT Construction Request (ECR) Packet to its possible
- Black: the nodes that belong to the tree
broadcast range. The sensor nodes that received an ECR packet
- Gray: the nodes that received the ECR packet but for
decide if they should belong to that tree. The standard used in this
which t d is not yet up.
decision is Fitness Indicator, f i . All nodes calculate their own f i .
- Blue: the nodes that do not belong to the tree
Equations (6) and (7) show how the value for f i is obtained.

f i = c1 f d + c2 f e + c3 f (6)

f d = 1 min(1, abs (d d char ) / d char ) (7)

fe = e
f = 1 abs ( ) /
c1 , c2 , c3 0, c1 + c2 + c3 = 1
( where, e [0,1], [ , ])

where f d is the distance between the ECR packet sending node

and receiving node, f e is the remained energy of itself and is
Fig. 1. State diagram of the nodes.
weighted by c1 , c2 , c3 .
Sensor nodes having larger values of f i are more likely to Before generating the m-EVBT, all sensor nodes are white.
belong to the backbone tree. In Equation (7), f i is limited to the After generating the m-EVBT, all sensor nodes are black or blue.
Fig. 1 shows the state diagram of the nodes.
range [0,1]. The value for f d is greatest when the distance is Unlike in the EVBT algorithm, the ECR packet in the m-EVBT
equal to d char which shows that this condition has the best algorithm includes the energy consumption information of the
transmission efficiency. We are willing to increase the probability black nodes and the sink node. The m-EVBT algorithm is as
that the nodes which are apart from d char belong to the tree. The follows:

value, f e , reflects the remaining energy, and f lets the 1. In the initial state, the sink node is a black node and
backbone continue to go straight. broadcasts the ECR packet.
2. The white nodes that received the ECR packets become
The value, f i , is divided into M parts. It has been determined
gray nodes. These nodes calculate f i using Equations (6)
that 3 or 4 parts are suitable [4].
- (9), and wait for a delay, t d . They also indicate the
0 = f i (0) < f i (1) < f i (2) < ... < f i ( M ) = 1 (8) node which transmits the ECR packet to their upstream
The nodes which received an ECR packet calculate the delay 3. If a gray node receives another ECR packet, it becomes a
time, which corresponds to f i , and wait for the calculated time. blue node.
The delay time, t d , is defined by Equation (9). 4. If a gray node does not receive an ECR packet during the
delay, t d , it becomes a black node.
t d = ((M k ) + random()) s 5. If a blue node receives another ECR packet, it indicates
(9) which is the most energy efficient node to its upstream
( for f i [ f i (k ), f i (k + 1)]) node using the cumulative energy information saved in

the ECR packet.

In the EVBT algorithm, the blue node indicates the nearest

black node as an upstream link. It can be the minimum energy
consumption until the arriving backbone tree. However it is a
problem that there is unnecessary energy consumption when data
are relayed on the backbone tree. That is, the selection of the
black node, which is the nearest node, as an upstream node can
not be energy efficient during the whole routing process. To solve
this problem, we suggest a way to send the ECR packet, including
energy consumption information, between the black node and the
sink node with the m-EVBT algorithm. Using this information,
the upstream link of the blue node is determined to be the black
node, which is the most energy efficient node.
Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 show examples of trees generated by the
EVBT and m-EVBT algorithms. The number in the black node
represents the energy consumed while sending 1-bit of data from
the black node to the sink node. The blue node calculates the
energy consumption in sending 1-bit from itself to the black node,
and the result of this calculation is included in the ECR packet.
The packet adds the energy used in both transmissions and Fig. 3. Example of a backbone tree using the m-EVBT algorithm.
chooses the node with minimum energy consumption to be the
upstream node. Using an equation, 410 + 90 > 305 + 100 , Node
a indicates the black node labeled 305 as its upstream link. Node The m-EVBT algorithm allows data transmission energy to be
b can also determine its upstream link in the same manner. saved by determining the most efficient upstream link from the
blue node. The algorithm can also use the various existing
methods of the keeping backbone tree [4].

4. Performance Evaluation
In this section, we evaluate the performance of the m-EVBT
algorithm by comparing it to the EVBT algorithm. We designed
and implemented our own simulator using the Java language, and
used the following assumptions: in Equations (1) and (2), n = 2 ,
11 = 12 = 80nJ / bit , and 2 = 100 pJ / bit / m 2 .
So, using Equation (5), d char = 40m , and using Equation (6),
c1 = c 2 = c3 = 40m . We also assume that the performance of all
nodes is the same. The m-EVBT algorithm should transmit the
energy consumption information within an ECR packet, so we
assume its ECR packets are bigger than those of the EVBT
algorithm by 2 bytes. We also assume that after the backbone tree
is created, all nodes will send the data to the sink node.

4.1 Comparison of Energy Consumption

during Data Transmission
To compare the energy consumed during data transmission, we
Fig. 2. Example of a backbone tree using the EVBT algorithm. used a previously reported test environment [4]. We assumed that
there were 10,000 nodes in the 600 m 600 m field. Each node
transmitted 20 bytes to the sink node which was located in the
middle of the field by following tree. The energy consumption of
the m-EVBT algorithm excluded the additional construction costs
of the backbone tree. We did additional tests in a smaller
environment of 100 nodes in the 100 m 100 m field.
Fig. 3 and Fig. 4 show the test results. Data transmission using
the m-EVBT algorithm used less energy than the EVBT algorithm,
and allowed for a greater transmission range which increased the
energy savings.

4.2 Comparison of Cost of Constructing the
Backbone Tree
The second test was a comparison of the costs required to
construct the backbone tree using the m-EVBT and EVBT
algorithms. The node density for each field size was 0.01.
In the first test, we measured the energy saved when the
transmission range was 40m(= d char ) . Fig. 5 shows that the
energy saved would cover the additional construction costs in all
cases, with larger energy savings seen at longer transmission
In the second test, we measured the energy saved when the
transmission distance ranged from 20m to 70 m . Fig. 6 shows
the results of the second test. It also shows that the energy saved
Fig.6. The energy consumption graph for a transmission distance of
would cover the additional costs of constructing the tree at all
distances, with greater energy savings seen at larger transmission
distances and field sizes.

Fig.4. The total energy consumption 1. Fig.7. The energy consumption graph of the proposed method for all
transmission distances.

5. Conclusion
In this paper, we proposed an m-EVBT algorithm which is more
energy efficient than the EVBT algorithm. This algorithm adds
the energy consumption information to the ECR packet so that
nodes which are not included in the backbone tree can select an
upstream node with the highest energy efficiency. Through
simulations, we validated that the energy consumption is
significantly less than that of the existing algorithm, and that the
total costs are also small even though considering the additional
constructing tree for m-EVBT.

This research was supported by the Ubiquitous Autonomic
Fig.5. The total energy consumption 2.
Computing and Network Project, 21st Century Frontier R&D
Program in Korea.

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