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2015 9th International Conference on Innovative Mobile and Internet Services in Ubiquitous Computing

A Multi-node Renewable Algorithm Based on

Charging Range in Large-scale Wireless Sensor
Guowei Wu, Chi Lin, Ying Li, Lin Yao, Ailun Chen
School of Software
Dalian University of Technology
Dalian, China

the areas of wireless energy transfer [6], [7]and rechargeable

lithium batteries [8].It means power can be transferred from
one energy storage device to another without any plugs or
wires. Kurs et al. also have developed an enhanced technology
to transfer energy towards multiple receiving nodes simultaneously [9]. Delightfully, they have proved that the overall output
efciency of charging each device individually is inferior to
that charging multiple devices. And whats more, wireless
energy transfer is not subject to the objective neighboring
environment and it does not require any mediums between
the mobile charger and the receiver.
Recent advances in charging sensors dispatch a mobile
charging vehicle (MCV) carrying certain amount of energy
to move around the network [10], [11], [12], [13]. A MCVs
capacity is high enough to maintain the eternal network
lifetime before it returns to the base station. Different from
these works, we also consider about the docking spot selection
to balance the power consumption of a MCVs movement and
the distance between a MCV and every sensor node. We adopt
Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) [14], [15] to balance them.
TSP aims to nd the shortest Hamiltonian cycle during visiting
every vertex.
In this paper, we propose an optimized algorithm Multinode Renewable based on Charging Range (MRCR) in the
large-scale WSN, where a mobile charging vehicle is allowed
to charge a group of sensor nodes. Every MCV only needs
to visit the specied docking spots to charge those nodes at
one time. Though the selection of docking spots with lengthobjective is a NP-hard problem, it can certainly be transformed
to the cover-objective problem. We also formulate how to
schedule MCVs charging sensor nodes. The whole process
is organized into rounds and a round is divided into slots: 1)
judgment, 2) charging, 3) rest. To make a WSNs lifetime as
long as possible even immortal, we develop a provable solution
combining the number of data packets transmitted over the link
and the total charging time at docking spot.
The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. We
survey the related work in Section II. Section III introduces
the basal information including parameters and system models.
Then in Section IV we investigate the problem formulation and

AbstractRecently, wireless energy transfer technologies have

emerged as a promising approach to address the power constraint
problem in Wireless Sensor Networks(WSNs). In this paper, we
propose an optimized algorithm, Multi-node Renewable based on
Charging Range (MRCR), for large-scale WSNs, where multiple
sensor nodes are charging simultaneously. A mobile charging
vehicle (MCV) is responsible for energy supplement of these
nodes group by group at specied docking spots. These spots
are selected based on charging range of a MCV, which can
not only maximum the charging coverage, but also improve
the energy efciency as the minimum number of stops and the
shortest travel path. We organize MCV schedule into rounds
and each round is divided into slots: judgment, charging and
rest. Then, we provide the objective output to maximize the
network lifetime and the computation complexity of our MRCR
algorithm. Finally, extensive experimental results show MRCR
algorithm can guarantee a short TSP length in every round and
all sensor nodes live immorally.
Index Termsmulti-node charging; docking spot selection;
large-scale wireless sensor network;

In a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN), the constrained
energy storage in batteries limits the network lifetime or
connes its short-term application. Thus, the limited battery
issue has become a big challenge in WSNs. To solve this
problem, energy-efciency has been widely studied in the literature where duty-cycling and various energy-efcient medium
access and routing protocols have been proposed. Existing energy conservation schemes can slow down energy consumption
rate, but cannot compensate energy depletion. To address the
problem of energy decay, harvesting energy from surrounding
energy sources including solar [1], vibration [2], wind [3],
biochemical process [4] or passive human movement [5] has
been proposed. However, the drawback of these schemes lies
in those high reliance on unpredictable and uncontrollable
ambient conditions. For instance, it is impossible to harvest
energy for some sensor nodes deployed in shadow areas or
cloudy weather at a satised level.
Wireless energy transfer technology can be adopted to
increase the lifetime of a new class WSN, called wireless
rechargeable sensor network. With this ever-lasting energy
replenishment, we have found two particular breakthroughs in

978-1-4799-8873-0/11 $31.00 20115 IEEE

DOI 10.1109/IMIS.2015.19


solution of multi-node renewable. Further studies in section

V show that our algorithm can achieve the computation
complexity of Liguang Xies. Section VI presents experimental
results. Finally we conclude this paper in Section VII.

as a sink node, and a service station (SS)to supply energy for

a MCV. The wireless rechargeable sensor network is static
with a set of N sensor nodes. Every sensor monitors its
nearby environment and generates a report to the sink node


Wireless energy transfer technologies can be classied into
three categories, inductive coupling [16], electromagnetic radiation [17] [18], and magnetic resonant coupling [6]. While,
we focus on a MCV carrying certain amount of energy and
moving around the network in this section.
In [19], the author investigated three key aspects of recharging: a) traversal strategies of the mobile charger, b) full
versus partial charging, and c) energy percentage available
to charger. However, the adaptive circular traversal strategy
must be implemented under the conditions of the symmetric
geometry, uniform density and uniform data generation rate of
the network.
Xie [10] recently studied the multi-node case of renewable
sensor networks with wireless energy transfer. Based on the
charging range of a wireless charging vehicle, the authors
propose a cellular structure that sensor nodes can be charged in
a cell and the vehicle only needs to visit the center of the cell.
However, the hexagonal cell structure has three weaknesses.
One is that it ignores the edge effect where most sensor
nodes gather far away from center, which energy efciency is
quite low. Second, their solution is a static, centralized joint
routing with perfect communication channels. Third, inexible
partition under asymmetrical distribution can no doubt prolong
the traveling path.
While, a more practical and efcient joint routing and charging scheme employing energy-balanced routing and energyminimum routing is proposed [11]. Under the dynamic and
imperfect communication environment, it uses constraint of
limited charging capability, and heterogeneous node attributes.
During every charging activity scheduling interval, the base
station determines the schedule based on the information
reported by each node. The collection tree protocol [20] is
used as the routing protocol to report sensory data and nodes
status to the base station.
Until now, the problem of bundling the mobile charging
vehicle and wireless energy transfer [12], [13] has not been
explored thoroughly from the aspect of energy efciency. The
general objective aims to maximize the number of sensors that
are replenished in one group and minimum length of travel
path among groups. While, we consider it in our paper.




Fig. 1. System Model overview. The MCV starts from the SS and travels
in the optimal path. When it arrives at a docking spot (ds) i, it will charge
all the sensor nodes nearby wirelessly. After a time period ti , the MCV will
move to the next ds( i + 1).

B. Wireless Charging Model

Fig 2 shows the wireless charging model. A MCV is
employed to recharge the nodes at some selected docking
spots. It can return to the service station before its energy
runs out.

Fig. 2. Wireless Charging Model. Rm ax is the max charging range and di

is the distance between the MCV and sensor i

In this paper, we adopt the Friis Transmission Equation

to calculate the power received from MCV, separated by a
distance d between MCV and the receiver:


In this section, we introduce the system model and some
basic concepts.

= Gs Gr (
) ,

A. System Model


where (Ps ) means the power from MCV, (Pr ) is the received
power, Gs is the source antenna gain, Gr is the receiver
antenna gain, is the signal wavelength (electromagnetic
wave) and is a path-loss exponent ( [2, 5]). Except for

We consider a system composed of four main components

as illustrated in Fig 1: sensor nodes (S) with rechargeable
battery of limited capacity, a wireless mobile charging vehicle
(MCV) carrying a wireless power charger, a base station (BS)


the distance d, all other parameters in Equation 1 are constant.

To ease the description, we simplify the charging model as:
Pr = Ad ,

and maximum energy efciency by exploring the multi-node

charging simultaneously. First, we design the docking spot
selection algorithm with less number of stops and more
rational geometrical positions. Then, we formulate the problem
how to schedule MCV charging sensor nodes.
As to the charging scheduling, we have to balance the total
energy consumed by the MCV for both moving and charging.
In each round of charging, the MCV predicts sensors residual
energy and parties the nodes that need to be charged group
by group in an optimal order to replenish them energy. The
paper solves wireless charging problem in WSNs for multinode case, which maximizes the number of sensors wirelessly
charged and minimum energy cost by the MCV.


where A represents other constant environment parameters as

PF ull Gr Gs (/4) and = Ps /PF ull and PF ull is the
initial full power of the MCV. In Equation 2, we observe
that the further the MCV is away from the sensor node, the
lower efciency we get. Therefore how to choose docking spot
carefully is one of our research emphases.
C. Energy Consuming Model
Equation 3 shows a MCVs energy consumption model. Etr
and Ech represents the battery consumption of traveling and
charging respectively. Let L be the length of the whole roundway traveling path and e be the rate of energy consumption
for corresponding propulsion force per unit of length.
EM CV = Etr + Ech = eL +
Ech ,

A. Docking spot selection Algorithm

There are two methods to reduce the energy cost during
traveling. One way is to diminish the number of stops and the
other is to select some random points to stop. As to reduce the
number of stops, we have to group nodes into one collection
as many as possible. So we use intersecting circles with a
radius of charging range to divide the group. Fig 3 depicts an
example where shorter tour length may be achieved when the
docking spots are not conned to the locations of the existing


where D is the set of docking spots selected in advance and

is the energy required for charging at the docking spot
dsj .
Equation 4 shows the total energy consumption of sensor
node j at time t. Bmax means a maximum battery level and
Bmin denotes the minimum battery level in case of death.
When every node j generates one unit of sensing data , it
may consume esj , the average energy consumption. etj denotes
the average energy cost for transmitting one unit data from
the sensor node j to the next sensor node, while erj denotes
the energy consumption for sensor node j to receive one unit
data. Let rj,t represent the data sampling rate of sensor node
j at time t. Each sensor node consumes energy for data sense,
transmission and reception.
Wj,t = (esj + etj )rj,t + (erj + etj )rk,t , K P SN (j),




where P SN (j) is the set of previous sensor nodes that use

sensor node j in all routing path.
Equation 5 shows the remaining energy of a given sensor
j at time t . Cj is the energy charging rate of node j. When
the MCV charges a group of sensor nodes at the docking spot
ds, each node in the same group usually does not reach the
same energy charging rate because of the different distance
from MCV.
Bj (t) = Bmax +
Cj dt
(esj + etj )rj,t dt

(erj + etj )rk,t .

Fig. 3. The Selection of Docking Spot. Given two selected docking spots, a
longer tour for d2 and a shorter tour for d1 . Both d1 and d2 can cover all
these sensor nodes.

Fig 3 shows that each node at least lies in a circle with

radius r, where these circles may overlap arbitrarily with one
another. We use intersecting circles with a radius of charging
range to divide these sensors into groups. Every point in these
overlap regions is the docking spot candidate to charge sensor
Theorem 1 Given a sensor nodes set S such that there is a
corresponding set C(| C |=| S |) of circles centered at each
vertex si S with a radius ri > 0. If the circle ci overlaps
with another circle cj , ci and cj are in the same group.
Theorem 2 All points in the overlap regions among intersecting circles are candidates for docking spots.
Denote P as the traveling path P= (d0 , d1 , ..., dm , d0 )
cruised by the MCV throughout a charging round, which
starts from and ends at the service station (d0 = SS), and di

KP SN (j)


In this section, we propose our algorithm Multi-node
Renewable based on Charging Range (MRCR) for largescale WSNs. Because the energy consumption of a MCV
includes traveling and charging, we try to optimize the length
of traveling path so as to acquire minimum power cost


represents docking spot i that multiple nodes can be supplied

energy where 1 i m. Denote Ddi di+1 as the distance
between the docking spot i and docking spot i+1 visited along
P respectively. Based on Theorem 1 and 2, we can achieve
the minimum number of groups, m. The MCV should move
along the shortest Hamiltonian cycle, which can be obtained by
solving the well-known Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP).
Therefore, Theorem 3 can be deduced.
Theorem 3 The traveling path P consisting of absolute
docking spots and links that touches every sensor node is a
Note that Theorem 1 and Theorem 2 are only theoretical
basis to optimize traveling path length from the viewpoint
of geometrically computed positions. Theorem 3 determines
the candidate for docking spots. The selection of docking
spots with length-objective is a NP-hard problem since it
is polynomial-time incremental with the growth of sensor
nodes. However, it can certainly be transformed to the coverobjective using the proposed Algorithm 1 especially adjustable
for the large-scale WSN. In the Algorithm 1, FindIntersection(ni ) is a function to group multiple sensor nodes. In the
form of a set traversal of sensor node set S, if there are
intersectant circles, they are put into InterSet[i]. InterSet[i]
is a data structure that holds the sensor nodes in the group
i. IsoSet si means putting sensor node si into the
set IsoSet, where keeps the center point of isolated circle.
D ComputeGroupDS(InterSet[i]) chooses the docking
point in the group from the set InterSet[i] characterized
by boundary points, which makes the whole path length
shorter. Then put it into docking spots set D. Similarly,
D ComputeIsolateDS(IsoSet[i]) is used to choose the
docking point from the node IsoSet[i]: link the center of
this isolated circle and the nearest docking spot, then set the
intersection point of straight line and circle as the docking
point and also put it into set Docking Spots Set D.

In our algorithm, designated docking points are characterized by boundary points, where several circles cross to make
the whole path length shorter. As shown in Fig 4, point a and
point b are both the intersection points. We choose the right a
instead of the left b, because a makes the tour length shorter
generally perceived as the best candidate. For isolated circle,
the best candidate point is the one gliding along the circular
trajectory and making distance between two adjacent points
shortest theoretically.

Fig. 4. Selection of MCVs Docking Spots. Point a is the bests candidate

because of a shorter tour length. For isolated circle, we follow the principle
of proximity in a more feasible way.

B. Charging Scheduling Algorithm

We formulate the problem how to schedule MCV charging
sensor nodes in WSNs. Let set AN = {SS} S, where SS is
the service station and S denotes the set of all sensor nodes,
with S S being the subset of sensors. Let G be the full
battery capacity of a MCV which is fully charged at service
station in the beginning of a charging round. The goal of MCV
is to estimate those sensor nodes needing to be charged and
transfer energy to them. In our algorithm MRCR, the whole
process is organized into rounds and a round is divided into
slots: 1) judgment, 2) charging, 3) rest in Fig. 5.

Algorithm 1 Calculate the Docking Spots Set.

1) Sensor Node Set: S= {s1 , s2 , ..., sn }
2) The max charging range: Rmax
Docking Spots Set : D = {d1 , d2 , ..., dm }
1: while (i = n) do
InterSet[i] F indIntersection(si );
if InterS et[i] is NULL then
IsoSet si ;
end if
D ComputeGroupDS(InterSet[i]);
8: end while
9: while (i = IsoSet.number) do
D ComputeIsolateDS(IsoSet[i]);
11: end while
12: m IsoSet.number + InterSet.number;
13: return


Fig. 5. Rounds and Slots. The rst stage is to initialize the whole system.
The rest rounds are all divided into 3 slots. Note that different rounds have
different length mainly because of different numbers of nodes imperative to
charge energy.

Algorithm 2 shows the charging scheduling algorithm.

When a MCV encounters a sensor,it determines whether the
power of this sensor node si falls below Bmin , corresponding
the function IsRecharged(si ). If this node needs charging,


the MCV will add it into the recharging node set R. In the
judgment slot, MCV uses Algorithm 1 CalculateDS(R) to
compute the docking spots. A docking spot should be optimal
geometric position to cover multiple sensors for wireless
energy transfer. Then, all sensors in set R are assigned to
different Docking Spots Set D. In the charging slot, MCV
starts to travel around the optimized path to charge multi-nodes
simultaneously at every docking spot. The traveling path for
charging is a Hamiltonian cycle.

Constraint (6) represents that all data generated and received

need to be sent out hop by hop towards the sink node.
Constraint (7) represents the base station is responsible for
receiving data generated by all sensor nodes. These two
constraints reect the ow conservations. Each sensor node
consumes energy for data sense, reception and transmission,
while the consumption should be smaller than the max battery
capacity that the node can possess or the energy charged from
the MCV. Constraint (9) states the time limitation that the
bound of the total charging time should not exceed the network
lifetime. Finally the output (fi,j , k ) combines the number
of data packets transmitted over the link (i, j) and the total
charging time at docking spot k.
The computation complexity of our algorithm is determined
by the docking spot selection and charging scheduling. The
docking spot selection one is to compute the spots where the
MCV can stop to transfer energy to multiple sensor nodes
within the charging range. If each node traverses the N -1
sensor nodes to nd its group members and compute the
stop position. There is a time complexity O(n2 ) and it is
infeasible to compute the optimal solution for a large scale
sensor network. To reduce the time complexity, we use binary
search tree to storage the nodes position. For a given node
at (a, b), its group members is within the scope of (a r, y)
and (a + r, y). Therefore, the time complexity for all nodes
is n (lgn). The charging scheduling is to nd those sensor
nodes need to be charged, whose number has an upper bound
N . In each round, the difference lies the number of nodes
found by the MCV. Hence, combined with this aspects, we
obtain the total computation complexity n (lgn).

Algorithm 2 Charging Scheduling.

Sensor Node Set: S= {s1 , s2 , ..., sn }
Docking Spots Set : D = {d1 , d2 , ..., dm }
1: while 1 do
while (i = x) do
S IsRecharged(si );
end while
D CalculateDS(S );
ChargeN ode(D);
W aitN extRound;
9: end while
10: return

In this section, we analyze how our MRCR can prolong the
lifetime of a WSN as well as its computation complexity.
The purpose of the recharging WSN is to make its lifetime
as long as possible even immortal. To analyze this, we rst
assume a node generates sensory data packet on a xed rate
during the whole network lifetime similar to [10]. i,t is
denoted as . T is the network lifetime. fi,j is the total number
of packets transmitted from node i to j during the network
lifetime. Eac is average energy consumed for MCVs charging
operation and k is the MCVs charging efciency. Then, eta
is the total amount of time that theMCV charges at docking
spot k. Derivation is as follows:
P urpose : maxT

fj,i =

T +

jP SN (j)

es T + er

jP SN (j)

In this section, extensive simulations are conducted to evaluate the performance of our MRCR algorithm under different
congurations of large-scale networks.
A. Experimental Setup
We consider a rectangular eld of 1000m*1000m where
N = 100, 500, 1000 and static sensor nodes are randomly
deployed. The base station is placed in the center of the eld
at (500,500) and the MCVs home service station is assumed to
be at the origin. Table I lists the default simulation parameters.
We suppose all sensor nodes are homogeneous, whose battery
for each is the regular NiMH 1.2V/2.5Ah. Bmax = 1.2V
2.5A 3600sec = 10.8KJ and Bmin = 0.05% Bmax =
540J hold. We set the wireless energy transfer max range
Rmax = 2.7m. We adopt the TSP in the Concorde package
[21]. This algorithm is a fast and effective heuristic even for
large-sized instances.
We will compare our algorithm MRCR with L.Xies renewable sensor networks(LX) [10]. In [10], a cellular structure is
used in which the MCV visits these cells and charges sensor
nodes from the center of a cell. Assuming that the MCV
is powered enough for all sensor nodes renewable, we have
r = 2.7m both for our circle radius and cells length of side.


jP SN (j)





Emax + k Eac

k T




jP SN (BS)

fi,j + et

jP SN (j)



Output : fi,j , k




Battery maximum capacity of each
Battery minimum capacity of each
Average Energy consumed for MCVs charging operation
Energy consumed for transmitting
a packet
Energy consumed for receive a
MCVs charging efciency
MCVs moving speed
Data generating rate


In each setting, the whole charging process is divided into

rounds. For each round, we rst calculate the docking spots set
under MRCR algorithm and then measure both the charging
time and path length of MCVs traveling achieved by the

Fig. 6. The Comparison Results with 1000 nodes in the Concorde. The top
one is the random situation without group nodes. The middle is the result of
LX and the bottom is the MRCRs result.

B. Performance of the Algorithm

We rst evaluate the performance of the initialization.
During the initialization, the MCV with full battery is ready to
charge sensors group by group. Each docking spot is computed
by docking spot selection algorithm. In LX, the MCV visits
each cellular center to charge nodes. While, MRCR selects
the center of intersection among circles as docking spots. The
shortest Hamiltonian cycle is found by using the Concorde
solver and is shown in Fig 6 for the 1000-node sensor network.
The initial position of WSN is considered to be random shown
in the top. The middle is the result of LX, where 1000 nodes
are distributed in 318 cells and each cell center is represented
as a point. The number of multi-node charging groups is 211
and the docking spots are shown as points in the bottom.
Comparing with these two solutions, we can see the charging
stops in MRCR are sparser and less irregular than those in
We conduct extensive simulations to evaluate the initialization performance under different congurations with N = 100,
500, 1000. The traveling path length is recorded and plotted
in Fig 7. When N is 1000, the path is 22973 meters long after
all nodes are traversed without group division. By contrast, the
optimal length with group division is 16651 meters long for
LX and 13121 meters long for MRCR respectively. Judging
from the trends in Fig 7, we can draw a conclusion that LX has
better performance in small scale of WSNs. And our MRCR
is more competitive in the large-scale WSNs, because it is
difcult for circles to overlap one another within the covering
ranges in a highly dispersive environment.
We are also interested in investigating the system performance after rounds. Different sensory data generation models
may cause the different results of energy distribution. In
this simulations, we congure the energy consumption of
sensor nodes randomly with a linear decrease. That is to say
abstracting the energy consumed for receiving and sending



The length of TSP












N: the number of sensor nodes

Fig. 7. TSP Length with Different Nodes. With N = 100, TSP length is 5302
meters long for LX and 7304 for MRCR. With N = 500, TSP length is 12146
meter long for LX and 11903 for MRCR. With N = 1000, TSP length are
16651 meter long for LX and 13121 for MRCR.

package as one xed value. Energy consumption of these

nodes at different rates brings about supplement from the
MCV at different rounds. In each round, nodes below Bmin
are grouped to compute docking spots and wirelessly charged
simultaneously. The TSP length of the MCV for each round
is shown in Fig 8, where there are 1000 sensor nodes. We
can see all nodes are charged in every round no matter how
much energy is used, so the TSP length is invariable in LX.
Compared with the top curve, the TSP length of MRCR is
shorter. In this instance, the MCV takes signicantly less time
and energy on moving around the path as shown in Fig. 9.


The length TSP of each round





Fig. 8. TSP length From Round 1 to 10. The unit for y-coordinate is kilometer.

The charging time of each round





Fig. 9. The Charging Time for MCV From Round 1 to 10. The unit of the
y-coordinates is thousand second.

In this paper, we have designed and validated an optimized
algorithm Multi-node Renewable based on Charging Range
(MRCR) in the large-scale WSN. Our MRCR can provide effectiveness on energy usage and prolong the network lifetime.
Simulation results show that our MRCR can possess better
performance. In the future work, we will deeply study how to
schedule multiple chargers simultaneously.
This research is sponsored in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (contract/grant number:
No.61173179, No.61202441, No.61402078) and Program for
New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-13-0083).
This research is also sponsored in part supported by the
Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities
(No.DUT14YQ212, No.DUT14RC(3)090).

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