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in Linear and Hierarchical Wireless Sensor Networks

Salman Ali, Saad Bin Qaisar

Emad A. Felemban

National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan

salman.ali, saad.qaisar @ {seecs.edu.pk}

Umm Al-Qura University, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

eafelemban@uqu.edu.sa

Sensor locations also influence energy usage as it is directly

related to the distance between the transmitter and receiver.

Over-provisioning of resources can be avoided by use of

effectively dimensioning the WSN node resources. Monitoring

of linear and hierarchical infrastructures like oil and gas

pipelines, bridges and tunnels proves much challenging for

being extensively long [2]. Even small interruptions from a

limited portion can disturb measurement accuracy from a

major portion of the network. An intelligent network design

and deployment of WSN nodes can improve performance by

maximizing reliability in terms of link quality and network

connectivity. Network connectivity being essentially linked

with link quality depends upon signal strength between sensor

nodes measured as Signal-to-Noise- Ratio (SNR) or Received

Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI). Network dimensions design

and measurement techniques include path losses, capacity,

link-quality and network coverage for deployment in complex

topologies. This paper aims to provide a relation towards

selection and deployment of sensor node resources to help

designing practical WSNs for field deployment in linear and

hierarchical layout.

Linear and Hierarchical WSN provide a special case of

design topology where the difficulty mainly lies in physical

inspection of sensors as well as long distance multi-hop

communication [2][3][4]. A hierarchical infrastructure network

(Fig. 1) is a constituent of several linear portions arranged in a

tree topology. Independent solutions exist for path loss and

connectivity that mostly rely on MAC protocol for real time

networking however MAC approaches become impractical due

to severe time restrictions. Sensor Network Calculus (SNC)

provides a resource selection mechanism but is limited in terms

of initially fixed resources. Transmit power efficient sensor

placement schemes for linear WSNs focus on minimization of

average energy consumption per node with an objective to

maximize network lifetime [7][9][10]. The limitations to such

an approach lie in defining a proper optimization problem that

is normally not suitable for real time deployments.

A number of sensor node placement approaches also try to

balance between network traffic load and lifetime

maximization [11]. Quite a few methods intentionally focus on

optimal required node density and the spacing in-between to

intelligently use network resources for linear and hierarchical

distributed detection applications addressing scalability and

collaboration but the major concern lies in the complexity of

calculations [12].

Apart from successful event detection in signal processing

domain, path losses in terms of incurred packet errors for low

channel SNR/RSSI severely affect the reliability with which

data can be communicated over the span of the infrastructure

[14]. Accurate channel models can only be determined for

specific layouts of network infrastructure and the terrain type

involved [15][16]. Such issues become significantly important

extensively for environment data collection from dense as well as

simple linear structure deployments. However, the need to collect

data from all sensors in the network imposes constraints on internode distances. Critical issues related to optimal resource

allocation still persist for even simplistic deployments like linear

and hierarchical networks. In this work, we present a method

for node placement in linear wireless sensor network with notion

of provisioning reliable data delivery over extensive monitoring

infrastructures. We provide a selection mechanism for required

number of nodes that can cover a specific area while providing a

margin for channel reliability. The reliability approach has been

analyzed in a pipeline monitoring scenario and subsequently

referred with analytical model to ensure consistency with

minimum resource consumption and best network connectivity in

real world. The proposed node placement strategy is based on a

dynamic programming model for achieving reliability in received

signals in a multi hop and long distance connectivity perspective.

Index Termsdynamic programming, linear network, channel

reliability, wireless sensor network

I. INTRODUCTION

Advances in embedded design and wireless communication

have led to the development of miniature sized low power

multi functional sensor devices. These devices form the basis

of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) that can monitor diverse

scenarios like battlefield, health and various infrastructures [1].

The sensor device or sensor node is capable of detecting

environment parameters within its sensing range and

transmitting the acquired data to nodes within its

communication range. The sensed data can then be sent in a

multi hop manner to a central sink. Nodes collaborate with

each other to monitor inaccessible areas and to communicate in

tough terrains. WSNs can be categorized in several ways when

considering coverage and connectivity requirements. Coverage

requirements can be the same throughout the monitoring area

mandating uniform node layout while it may be critical in

some other areas with a need for higher surveillance. For

regular infrastructures, a finite set of points can be used for

approximating the coverage requirements with a finite set of

points. Once nodes are deployed, network reliability would

depend upon the inter node connectivity and channel quality

statistics including packet error rates.

For multi-hop communication, it is essential for reliability

that the nodes can communicate with each other at all times.

Network is considered fully connected if every pair of nodes

can communicate with each other either directly or through a

relay node. Connectivity is related to the position of nodes that

is also affected by the channel statistics like SNR (Signal-toNoise Ratio) and RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator).

The layout of WSN nodes involves several parameters. Sensor

locations that satisfy the budget requirements and coverage

restrictions to counter sensor failures need to be determined.

763

an overall less spectral efficient design [16].

Traffic aware relay and slave nodes in tree topology can

also be intelligently placed using methods reelying on mapping

the solution into Euclidian distance space takking monetary cost

as a tuple of coverage parameters [12][13].. This approach is

suitable not only in terms of having low com

mplexity but also in

producing practical and closely optimal results. Hence we use a

a

to define

similar method based on a low complexity algorithm

node resources for linear and hierarchical struucture monitoring.

In this work, we contribute a node resourrce estimation and

placement method for linear and hierarchiccal WSN topology

relating channel conditions, coverage paraameters and node

resources. In contrast with previous work in

i the domain, we

provide path losses and distance profiling with

w common inter

linked parameters (Section II). With focuss on reliability, a

dynamic programming based [17] node plaacement algorithm

that closely follows channel conditions in term

ms of SNR is used

(Section III).

infrastructure is mostly ussed in intense terrains and

environment, wireless channell related activities like fading,

shadowing and interference crreate considerable loss in signal

strength. To account this, appropriate

a

models for WSN

applications have been formulated

fo

individually with

experimentation in different teerrains [3-6]. The basis for all

such models is the inversely prroportional relationship of signal

strength to distance between two sensor nodes with slight

p

from experimentation.

adjustments in path loss factor predicted

Besides path loss, differennt noise forms experienced in

WSN deployed in industrial environments are also critical.

b stochastic process forms a

Such noise when modeled by

superposition of Additive Whitte Gaussian Noise (AWGN) as a

zero mean Gaussian random distributed

d

process and impulse

noise in the form of randomly distributed

d

variable [14][16]. We

jointly define such noise forms as:

1,2, , T

(1)

t

x t k t t

where (t) and k(t) are zero mean

m

Gaussian random variables

and (t)

specifically denotees AWGN, while x(t) being a

binary variable can take on valuues [0,1]. The WSN channel can

be modeled to move between good

g

and bad states according to

a two-state Markov process (Fig. 3), to describe bursty nature

of impulse noise.

t probability of moving from

If we represent Pr_GB as the

good to bad state then Pr_BG would

w

be the probability to move

bad to good state. The two staates of the WSN channel can be

represented as [s(t)=G x(t)=

=0] and [s(t)=B x(t)=1]. The

pdf of the stochastic noise in thhe good and bad states can then

be defined through Gaussian vaariable definition as:

|n t |

1

Pr t |s t

G

exp

2

2

2

|n t |

1

Pr t |s t

B

exp

3

2R

2R

where,

Average noisee power in bad state

R

Average noise power in good state

The parameter denotes the standard deviation of noise. For

accurate detection of bad statee, R should have a value greater

than 1, i.e. noise power measuured in bad state must be greater

than any noise power experiennced in the good state. From the

Markov channel state modell, the probability of having a

particular state at any time instaant (t) can be written as:

A major concern in deployment of WSN

Ns for large scale

infrastructure monitoring is the dimensioninng of sensor node

resources in order to ensure reliable annd cost effective

operation. Provision for reliable monitorring is done by

maintaining a tradeoff between link SNR and the network

coverage in terms of transmission distancee corresponding to

RSSI values where data or message can be decoded correctly

with minimum errors. The system model contributes error

probabilities, path loss profiling, network connectivity and

inter-node distances. The symbols used in the paper are

summarized in Table 1.

TABLE I.

Parameter

Aggregation rate

ED IN PAPER

Symbol

A

Parameter

Symbol

Nominal energy

E

n

AWGN variable

Number of aggreegators

Channel bandwidth

Number of hops

Channel capacity

Number of sensoors

Channel constant

Number of transsmissions

n

n

Channel loss

Reception Power

Channel state

Data bits

Signal Strength

Data rate

Standard deviation

Inter-node distance

Transmission disstance

Link reliability

S

L

Time instant

Time period

Transmission poower

Coverage length

Noise at instant i

Pr S 1 T Pr s t 1 |s t

(4)

Pr

Ps t 1

i|s t

j

(5)

The node separation disttance and path loss derive the

transmit power required to maintain a quality link in

connection with the sensitivityy of used antenna. Free space

model must be adjusted with specifics of path loss exponent

W

environment. A log-normal

and channel conditions to fit WSN

path loss alteration in the basicc free space path loss model [18]

needs to be integrated in orderr to provide for the accuracy in

loss measures for WSN in near ground outdoor environment.

The path loss as a log-normal equation can be written as:

Pr S t

t

T

P

10ulog

(6)

distance, u is path loss factor and X is a log normal variable

with standard deviation of in dB [3][5][6]. In a normal setting,

may be taken as 36dB, u equual to 4 and X has a variation of

4.70. To compare theorettical path loss formulations,

For WSN, the transmission rate andd antenna power

critically effect the distance a sensor nodee transmission can

764

10

15

20

-65

25

30

35

40

Power:

-8dBm

Power: -2dBm

Power: 2dBm

-45

10

15

20

-55

25

30

35

Power: -8dBm

Power: -2dBm

Power: 2dBm

40

-65

-75

-85

-95

Distance (meters)

-35

RSSI (dBm)

RSSI (dBm)

-55

Distance (meters)

-35

-45

RSSI (dBm)

Distance (meters)

-45

-55

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

Power: -8dBm

Power: -2dBm

Power: 2dBm

-65

-75

-75

-85

-85

(a)

(b)

(c)

Fig. 2. (a) RSSI of XBee (S2) with Libelium Wasmpotes in Indoor Environment (b) in Outdoor Environment (c) placed over Pipeline

and

node in the tree structure of connected nodes n

1 in time T [5][14][15]. This derives the network

n

lifetime and signal strength as:

equipped with Xbee, Zigbee protocol enabled transceivers

equipped with 2dBi omni-directional antennas. Tests were

conducted for indoor, outdoor (freespace) and linear pipeline

infrastructure of 8inches diameter. The RSSI variations against

distance are provided in Fig. 2. (a), (b) and (c). Interestingly,

the pipeline infrastructure presents similar or improved RSSI

for linear applications since a variation of 2dBm is observed

when compared with normal freespace deployment. The reason

for this phenomenon can be contributed to the superposition of

signals at certain points reflected from the linear pipeline

structure when the nodes are placed above the metal structure.

This however, would be quite different as compared to the

situation where the metal pipeline structure is in the middle of

two nodes causing absorption or blocking of signals.

ER . T

P D

P D

10ulog

. By

P

, we can write the fundamental

received power P

relationship between capacity, bandwidth and path loss as:

C

P D

log 1

8

B

B

N

By rearranging equation (14), we get the distance at which the

signal can be received effectively by nodes (eqn. 9) as:

P

10

dbm

10

1000

log

10

B 2B

.u

A

A . T. E . u. n

. T. E . b A

. b. D . n

and

is the number of sensors deployed. For a typical

WSN, optimal distance placement achieves a reliable link

under the constraint of maximum lifetime as a function of

average and initial energy. But the nodes are placed at the

minimum tolerable SNR region boundary where any slight

displacement will lead to disconnectivity which we cater in this

work using a dynamic programming based node placement

algorithm. The optimal distance placement is done by

maximization of lifetime as a function of average and initial

energy as [7]:

E

E

11

T

1

E

aD R b R

n

(7)

. T. E

ER , E

and E

are the energy regeneration rate, signal

transmission and amplification energy respectively while

is the number of sensors connected to the aggregator in

n

is the aggregation rate and b is the number

a tree branch. A

of data bits transmitted. Aggregation rate refers to the data rate

that can be received from several branch nodes over a time

period T. Alternatively; it can be represented as a percentage

ratio in terms of maximum data rate (250kbs) that can be

received from a single node in one unit time. The maximum

tolerable SNR distance depends upon the discrete transmission

capability of the node; hence sensor i would select a discrete

value P where j, in the case of our experimental setup with

Libelium Waspmotes, increases in six steps to a maximum of

1mW. In the most simplistic linear case for equal distance

placement, the distance between adjacent nodes will be

L

D

where L is the network length

adjusted as D

Path loss and channel characteristics determine the

transmission distance at which sensor nodes should be placed

apart for maximum throughput. It should be noted that the

transmission range has variations for an omni-directional

antenna. Considering this, there is always an SNR gap for a

shift from a good reliable connection to a bad connection

where the packet reception may suffer losses. Hence we derive

several measures of inter-node distance placement.

Considering power received to be proportional to the ratios of

distances where the receiver is present and some relative

distance at which loss is measured, we have P

Subject to,

D

L

By using Lagrangian multiplier method,

L

D

, 1 i n 12

1

R

R

Here, u is the path loss component that intrinsically relates to

reliability in terms of SNR. A heuristic based approach with

notion of reliability can also be used instead of the optimal

placement since nodes can undergo disconnection for being

be estimated directly from the log-normal utility as :

u

10

log D

Maximum distance where SNR is minimum but signal can

still be decoded presents the transmission distance after which

the signal will drastically get altered by interference. This

maximum tolerable SNR region can be derived by setting the

energy regeneration rate greater than or equal to the energy

765

method scales the distance as a function of the SNR reliability

achieved in reducing the distance between nodes and the

number of budget nodes that can be accommodated. The node

placement distance is:

D

(13)

D D _

is the path loss catered effective distance and D is

D _

a scaling factor for coverage determined by dynamic

programming discussed in Section III.

Fig 3 (a)

Number of sensor nodes deployed for infrastructure

monitoring constitutes the main resource and cost of WSN.

Hence, a critical and resourceful measure is required for

practical deployment of nodes. From the distance calculations

(eqn. 9), it follows that the number of optimal nodes required

would be given as in [7]:

n

L

N

Coverage Algorithm

1.

(14)

where ,

7.

and

8. Check constraints

r

is maximum sensing range taken equal to the transmission

node

i.e.

range here. It follows that n node

_

the number of nodes should not exceed the node budget.

Repeat step 4 - 8

10. Else Exit

11. Report current SNR/Spectral Efficiency (db) gain

Dynamic programming [27] is to provide tradeoff between

coverage and node resources utilized against the SNR and

corresponding reliability gain. The problem here is to find the

portion of coverage in transmission range that the node can be

placed inside while meeting the budget nodes, i.e. maximum

number of nodes that can be deployed. With representation of

channel reliability in terms of SNR as S, dynamic algorithm

based reliability oriented node placement and coverage

approach is explained (Fig. 3. (a)).

which determines the number of calculations to make at each

step. The starting reliability S is thus set as the minimum

achievable SNR. A small decrease in distance is calculated and

the corresponding SNR gain is calculated. For each change in

SNR and distance, the minimum of their ratios is taken in a

population. The algorithm continues until a constraint in terms

of maximum nodes that can be deployed, maximum SNR or

minimum node separation is met. During the algorithm sorting,

whenever the infrastructure coverage becomes short, a node is

deployed to suffice. At the end of the algorithm, the spectral

efficiency is reported which depicts a sufficient reliability gap.

Fig. 3. (a) Dynamic programming for reliable connectivity Fig 3 (b) Optimal,

dynamic algorithm based and geometric placement of sensor nodes with

reference to transmission distance (r)

4

60

u=2

u=3

u=4

40

30

Spectral Efficiency

(bits/sec/hertz)

50

(Dynamic) Avg SNR=5dB

(Dynamic) Avg SNR=0dB

(Dynamic) Avg SNR=-5dB

(Optimal) Avg SNR=-10dB

3.5

3

2.5

2

1.5

20

10

0.5

0

2

10 12 14 16 18 20

(a)

100

Number of Nodes

Subject to,

Distance (meter)

3. Initialize starting reliability

(minimum achievable SNR)

corresponding to maximum transmission distance

4. Evaluate a population with decrease (D) (meters) in distance

and corresponding increase in (S) (dB)

5. Set

S (Relative change in SNR) for all deployed nodes

6. For each (S, D) pair from population, evaluate

arg max T

arg max

Fig 3 (b)

80

60

Optimal Palcement

Dynamic Placement

(2/3)r Placement

(1/2)r Placement

40

20

0

8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22

Number of Nodes

(b)

500

1000

1500

2000

Distance

(meter)

2500

(c)

Fig. 4. (a) Node distance variations with channel index u (b) Spectral efficiency gain for number of branch nodes and average SNR (c) Node Resource

Comparison for dynamic algorithm approach against optimal and geometric placement

766

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

from the Long-Term National Plan for Science, Technology

and Innovation (LT-NPSTI), the King Abdul-Aziz City for

Science and Technology (KACST), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

We thank the Science and Technology Unit at Umm A-Qura

University for their continued logistics support.

optimal placement at the transmission range (r), and

geometrical placements [20] at (2/3)r and (1/2)r inside the

signal footprint of an omni-directional Zigbee antenna and a

test bed consisting of Libelium Waspmotes (Fig. 3 (b)) [19].

For linear and hierarchical networks with difficult and lengthy

terrains, determining the precise channel index to use presents

precision difficulty. Though much distance change in terms of

transmission coverage for sensing nodes does not provide

considerable gains and as the node index increases the node

distance for the same infrastructure length decreases and the

role of the channel index does not provide considerable

difference in channel quality since overall the average SNR

and spectral density increases (Fig. 4 (a)).

Major gain achieved from the use of dynamic programming

is the spectral efficiency increase for the number of nodes

deployed to cover the same infrastructure length but with

varying distance against average SNR (Fig. 4 (b)). The optimal

placement is done for a minimum SNR of -10dB and the gain

against the placement with reduced distance and improvement

in SNR is plotted. Considerable spectral efficiency gains in the

range [0.1-2.5] and more can be achieved depending upon the

SNR gap for channel conditions and node placement. It is more

profound for dynamic algorithm at earlier stages when linearly

connected nodes or the number of hops is limited in the range

{1-15} on average. This is because as the same packet travels

over multiple hops each having a slight probability of error; the

overall spectral efficiency will reduce.

The node resource consumption for dynamic algorithm is

slightly more than the optimal approach since a compromise is

made the increased packet reception rate and improved channel

quality measured with SNR and spectral efficiency (Fig. 4 (c)).

The resource consumption is however less in the order and

for geometrical placements at (2/3)r and (1/2)r. To summarize,

the dynamic algorithm proposed can be used as a tool to

alternatively deploy nodes in a more reliable and connected

manner within resource constraints while benefiting from

channel efficiency gains.

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wireless sensor networks," International Conference on,

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Monitoring Long Range Infrastructures: Architecture and

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Vales-Alonso, L. Juan-Llacer, J. Garcia-Haro, "An accurate radio

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V. CONCLUSION

The paper presents a dynamic algorithm based framework

for sensor node resource estimation and placement in WSNs

for reliably monitoring in linear and hierarchical cases. An

analytical foundation based on path loss and distance profile is

used to calculate the required resources for full coverage. Test

bed deployment consisting of ZigBee based modules and

comparison for transmission range based geometrical

placement of nodes against proposed dynamic algorithm

assisted node placement strategy has been used to ensure

minimum resource consumption and maximum network

connectivity. Results illustrate that the algorithm prediction for

connected network setup are reasonably close to the actually

observed values in the simulations and testbed for a linear

topology in terms of path losses, signal strength and distance

between nodes. Most importantly for critical reliable

applications, the connectivity challenge is met for major

deployed topology cases. The real time test bed deployment

results together with theoretical networking foundations can be

used as a promising candidate for consistent deployment of

sensor nodes in random and massive quantity for applications

like structural health monitoring with multi hop and long

distance connectivity.

767

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