Kho, Johnsen, Tran-Thanh, Long, Rogers, Alex and Jennings, Nicholas R.
An Agent-Based Distributed Coordination Mechanism for Wireless Visual Sensor Nodes Using Dynamic Programming
The Computer Journal, 53, (8), .
The efficient management of the limited energy resources of a wireless visual sensor network is central to its successful operation. Within this context, this article focuses on the adaptive sampling, forwarding, and routing actions of each node in order to maximise the information value of the data collected. These actions are inter-related in a multi-hop routing scenario because each node’s energy consumption must be optimally allocated between sampling and transmitting its own data, receiving and forwarding the data of other nodes, and routing any data. Thus, we develop two optimal agent-based decentralised algorithms to solve this distributed constraint optimization problem. The first assumes that the route by which data is forwarded to the base station is fixed, and then calculates the optimal sampling, transmitting, and forwarding actions that each node should perform. The second assumes flexible routing, and makes optimal decisions regarding both the integration of actions that each node should choose, and also the route by which the data should be forwarded to the base station. The two algorithms represent a trade-off in optimality, communication cost, and processing time. In an empirical evaluation on sensor networks (whose underlying communication networks exhibit loops), we show that the algorithm with flexible routing is able to deliver approximately twice the quantity of information to the base station compared to the algorithm using fixed routing (where an arbitrary choice of route is made). However, this gain comes at a considerable communication and computational cost (increasing both by a factor of 100 times). Thus, while the algorithm with flexible routing is suitable for networks with a small numbers of nodes, it scales poorly, and as the size of the network increases, the algorithm with fixed routing is favoured.
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