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IEEE Internet of Things Journal VOL. 6, NO. 99, MAY 2017 1

I-UMDPC: The Improved-Unusual Message


Delivery Path Construction for Wireless Sensor
Networks with Mobile Sinks
Hailong Huang, Andrey V. Savkin, and Chao Huang

Abstract—This paper considers the data delivery delay prob- delay problem in WSNs. One class of approaches uses con-
lem in wireless sensor networks. The delivery delay is a significant trollable M node [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]. The basic idea
measure when the data freshness is the first concern of users. is to find an optimal path for M node such that a certain
The goal of this work is to route delay sensitive data to mobile
nodes within an allowed latency. The data collection system metric is optimized. These approaches are able to reduce the
composes of a set of mobile nodes amounted on buses, a set energy consumption by S nodes significantly, but they also
of sensor nodes to detect the interested phenomenon, and a set pose several other challenges. Since the searching space for
of special nodes deployed at bus stops to assist data routing. An M node’s possible position is infinite in the sensing field, it is
optimization based approach called Improved-Unusual Message hard to solve the path optimization problem. Besides, due to
Delivery Path Construction (I-UMDPC) is proposed. Considering
the actual features of bus operation, two aspects of uncertainties the low physical speed of M node, the room of delivery delay
are accounted in our approach: the bus arrival time and the stop improvement is limited.
duration. Extensive simulations as well as practical experiments In this paper, the Improved-Unusual Message Delivery
on our testbed demonstrate that I-UMDPC is able to route delay Path Construction (I-UMDPC) is proposed for WSNs, which
sensitive data reliably and efficiently, and performs better than exploits predictable mobility, i.e., M nodes are attached to
existing work.
buses. This mobility avoids the control of M nodes’ complex
Index Terms—Wireless sensor networks, data collection, delay movements, which is suitable to the applications in urban
sensitive, mobile sinks areas. Moreover, instead of sending M nodes to visit S nodes,
I-UMDPC adopts the concept of multihop communication for
I. I NTRODUCTION delivering UM, which can decrease delivery latency greatly.
One difficulty of transmitting UM to M nodes is the
W IRELESS sensor networks (WSNs) have been used
widely ranging from environment monitoring to battle-
field surveillance. In typical WSNs, the sensor nodes (S nodes)
management of routes. Since M nodes are moving, for a S
node which has a UM to send (henceforce called source node),
are equipped with limited battery resources. The conventional the routes to M nodes vary with time. To achieve successful
scheme utilizes multihop communication to transmit sensory UM delivery, S nodes need to keep track of the latest locations
data to a static sink. One disadvantage is the unbalanced load of M nodes. An ideal way is to flood the network once
of S nodes, i.e., those nearby the sink are overloaded, which M nodes move away, such as [8], [9]. However, it results
results in the so-called energy hole problem [1]. Recently, the in a huge network overhead. Thus, frequent propagation of
utility of mobile nodes (M nodes) is proposed as a promising the sink location updates should be avoided if the S nodes
solution to the energy hole issue. are not able to harvest energy from the environment. An
Guaranteeing data delivery delay is critical for achieving alternative approach is based on clusters [10], [11], [12] or
acceptable quality of service in delay-intolerant applications, virtual grids [13], [14], [15], where only cluster heads (CHs)
such as earthquake or volcanic eruption warning system. The or grid heads need to update the positions of M nodes, which
detection of any unusual phenomenon needs to be transmitted significantly reduces the energy expenditure. I-UMDPC uses
to the users as soon as possible, then the users can take the cluster structure. The S nodes are divided into a number
further actions. In this paper, we use the term UM to represent of clusters, each of which consists of one CH and several
the message containing the detected unusual phenomenon. cluster members (CMs). Further, a special node is placed at
Researchers have proposed various solutions to the delivery each bus stop (henceforce called B node). The B nodes store
the timetable of bus operations, and together with CHs, assist
H. Huang is with School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, the source node to deliver UM. With these components, the
University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia and DATA61-CSIRO,
Eveleigh, Sydney 2015, Australia. (E-mail: hailong.huang@unsw.edu.au). overall procedure of I-UMDPC is as follows. Upon detecting
A.V. Savkin is with School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommuni- the unusual phenomenon, the source node sends UM to its
cations, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia. (E-mail: local CH (source CH). The source CH communicates with B
a.savkin@unsw.edu.au).
C. Huang is with School of Electrical Computer and Telecommunications nodes through other CHs to gather the arrival times of the
Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong 2522, Australia (E-mail: coming buses. Based on these arrival times, the source CH
ch449@uowmail.edu.au). determines a subset of B nodes as delivery targets, such that
Copyright (c) 2012 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted.
However, permission to use this material for any other purposes must be UM can be picked up within the allowed delay. When the
obtained from the IEEE by sending a request to pubs-permissions@ieee.org. buses come, B nodes upload UM to the on-board M nodes.

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Things Journal
IEEE Internet of Things Journal 2

Another difficulty of I-UMDPC lies in the uncertainty in communication ranges. When M node finishes its trip, every
the bus operation. Considering the traffic on road, a bus may node knows its shortest hop distance to a subsink as well as
arrival at a bus stop on time, early or late. This feature makes the shortest path towards the subsink. From M node’s next
the timetable stored at B nodes unreliable. The stop duration at trip, nodes transmit their sensory data to the corresponding
a stop is also uncertain, which depends on the passengers to subsinks and when M node comes, the subsinks upload the
get on or off. Both types of the above uncertainties impact buffered data. In [27], it is pointed out that the shortest path
on whether UM can be delivered in time. In this paper, based routing leads to an unbalanced assignment of nodes
we propose an optimization problem which aims at using to subsinks. Considering this, they formulate a constrained
the minimum energy to transmit UM and in the meanwhile assignment problem such that each subsink is associated with
maintaining the successful delivery probability to a high level. an appropriate number of nodes, which enables more data can
The main contribution of this paper is I-UMDPC, which be collected. To assist routing sensory data, [9] and [23] also
takes into account the actual features of bus operation, i.e., the focus on learning the sinks’ mobilities. A strategy called Stash
uncertainties in the arrival times as well as the stop durations. is proposed in [9], which exploits the learned mobility and
The data collection system uses buses, which already exist aims at delivering sensory data to M nodes efficiently.
in the environment, to carry M nodes. We conduct extensive The hierarchical approaches, where two or more tiers are
simulations as well as practical experiments on our testbed to constructed, aim to reduce the overhead on maintaining M
demonstrate the advantages of the proposed approach against nodes’ locations [29]. They can be classified into two groups.
the alternatives. We find that I-UMDPC is able to route UM Approaches in the first group divide sensing field into grids.
to M nodes more reliably and efficiently than the alternatives. Only the nodes near the grids need to track the locations of M
The rest of this paper is organized as follows. Section II nodes; while the other S nodes acquire the M nodes’ locations
discusses the related work. Section III describes I-UMDPC in when necessary. Two-Tier Data Dissemination (TTDD) [13]
detail. Section IV and V respectively demonstrate simulated constructs a uniform virtual grid structure for each source
and experimental results to show the performance of our node. The sensory data is delivered through the nodes near
approach as well as the comparison with alternative work. the grid to M nodes. Grid-Based Energy Efficient Routing
Finally, Section VI briefly concludes the paper. (GBEER) [14] aims to eliminate the overhead by constructing
a common grid structure for all possible source nodes. Virtual
Grid-based Dynamic Routes Adjustment (VGDRA) [15] is an-
II. R ELATED W ORK
other grid based approach where all S nodes transmit sensory
A large body of data collection protocols has been proposed. data to M node in a real time manner and it involves a scheme
In the prospective of sink mobility, the existing approaches to readjust routes to M node dynamically. A disadvantage
can be classified into three categories: random, controllable, of these approaches is that they assume the S nodes are
and predictable. Regarding random mobility, M nodes can location aware, which is costly to obtain. The approaches
randomly walk in the sensing field and pick up data from S in the second group, such as Hierarchical Cluster-based Data
nodes when they are close [16], [17]. It is simple to implement, Dissemination (HCDD) [10] and Mobile Sink-based Routing
but it is difficult to bound the collecting latency due to Protocol (MSRP) [11], divide S nodes into clusters and cluster
the randomness. The second category employs controllable heads (CHs) keep track of M nodes’ locations. [30] also falls
mobility where the M nodes are able to freely move in the into this group, where the nonuniform deployment of nodes is
field to visit all or a certain part of S nodes [2], [5], [7], [18], considered. The sensory data is routed towards the CH which
[19], [20], [21], [22]. The main focus in these papers is to is closest to M node via the other relay CHs.
determine the M nodes’ paths so that some specific objective
is optimized, such as the energy consumption. However, since III. DATA D ISSEMINATION P ROTOCOL
many applications are deployed in the environments that The main objective of this work is to develop a routing
constrain motion patterns of M nodes to roads, trails, or method that delivers UM from source node to M nodes in an
hallways, not all movements are actually realized. Besides, energy efficient way such that M nodes receive UM within
as mentioned in Section I, due to the low speed of M nodes, the allowed latency. In this section, we first present the basic
the improvement room of reducing delivery latency is limited. assumptions of the system and then describe our approach.
An alternative approach uses predictable mobility, i.e., there
is an inherent pattern to the movements of M nodes [9], [23], A. Assumptions
[24], [25], [26], [27], [28]. In [24], a M node is installed We assume the following network characteristics:
on a bus and collects data from S nodes deployed near the • S nodes are randomly deployed and remain static.
path. [25] focuses on the scheduling problem in S nodes - • S nodes are equipped with limited initial energy while B
M node transmission. One defect of [24], [25] is that they nodes and M nodes do not have any energy constraints.
use single hop communication, which requires that S nodes • M nodes move on their predefined paths, along which
can be within the communication range of M node when it static B nodes are placed.
moves. In [26], multi-hop communication is used. During the • M nodes’ movements follow the timetable, but they may
movement, M node broadcasts a packet continuously within its arrive at bus stops early, on time or late.
communication range. The nodes that can hear this packet are • M nodes stop at bus stops for a while and the durations
called subsinks. Subsinks then forward the packet within their are also uncertain.

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This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/JIOT.2017.2707464, IEEE Internet of
Things Journal
IEEE Internet of Things Journal 3

𝑌𝑖 𝑌𝑖
CM
q CH Δ Δ
e k B node
Inter cluster link 3𝑡𝑖 3𝑡𝑖
Intra cluster link
d
m 𝑡 𝑡
s a 0 𝑋𝑖 3𝑡𝑖 𝑍𝑖 0 3𝑡𝑖 𝑋𝑖 𝑍𝑖
j n (a) (b)
c p
i o Fig. 2: Demonstrations of successful delivery. (a) Bus arrives
b
early. (b) Data arrives early.
h l
f g
is obtained from the store timetable), hop count hi and the
energy cost ci . The included information will be used in Target
Fig. 1: An illustrative example of I-UMDPC operation. Selection in Step 4.
Source CH may receive more than one Reply message. In
Step 4, it executes Target Selection procedure, i.e., from the
B. Improved-Unusual Message Delivery Path Construction set of candidate targets (denoted by R) select final targets to
The overall procedure of I-UMDPC is summarized as deliver UM. We provide an optimization based target selection
follows. approach, which is formulated as a binary linear program. The
output of this optimization is the set of the target B nodes,
1) Announcement. The source node announces the source
denoted by T ⊆ R. To set up our binary linear program, we
CH that it has data for delivery and transmits the data
define an indicator function I(i), indicating whether B node i
to the source CH.
belongs to T , i.e.,
2) Quote. The source CH sends Quote to the nearby CHs
and B nodes. The nearby CHs forward the Quote until (
1, i ∈ T
it reaches a B node. I(i) = (1)
3) Reply. The B node transmits a Reply message to the 0, otherwise
source CH. The Reply message contains the arrival time
Based (1), our objective is to minimize the total cost on
of the coming bus.
delivering UM:
4) Target selection. Source CH selects target B nodes.
5) Delivery. Source CH transmits UM to the targets. X
min J = ci I(i). (2)
6) Upload. The target B nodes upload the data to the on
i∈T
board M nodes when the buses arrive.
Below we provide more details for I-UMDPC. I-UMDPC where ci is the cost to transmit data to B node i.
is based on a two layer structure where the higher layer Now, we consider the model of successful delivery at B
consists of B nodes and CHs and the lower layer consists node i. Let Xi be the arrival instant of a bus at i and Yi
of CMs. Since this paper mainly focuses on the delivery be the stop duration at i, with density functions fXi (xi ) and
of UM, not the cluster formation, any existing approaches fYi (yi ) respectively. Denote Zi as the instant when the bus
can be used. In this paper, we adopt Max-Min D-Cluster departs from i. Then, Zi = Xi + Yi . Suppose that Xi and Yi
Formation Algorithm [31]. This algorithm provides a load- are independent, the density function of Zi is the convolution
balanced clustering solution by constructing D-hop clusters, of fXi (xi ) and fYi (yi ), i.e.,
i.e., any CM is at most D hops away from its CH. An Z +∞
illustration is shown in Fig. 1 where D equals to 2. fZi (zi ) = fXi (xi )fYi (zi − xi )dxi . (3)
Any S node can be the source node, no matter if it acts −∞
as CH or CM. If a CH is the source node, Announcement is Let t0 be the time instant when source node detects an
skipped; otherwise, CM announces its CH about the detection interested event. Let ti be the time cost to transmit a message
of interested event. Based on the cluster structure, every CH from source CH to B node i. Then, the instant at which UM
is able to learn the shortest path to each B node. Then, the arrives at B node i can be approximated by to + 3ti . Here, the
source CH sends Quote to B nodes across the higher layer. 3 considers the time for transmitting Quote, Reply and UM.
As shown in Fig. 1, CH a is the source CH of source node Note, this formulation neglects the time cost from source node
s and it sends Quote to CH b, c and d rather than e, since a to source CH. Let ∆ be the allowed latency. For simplicity,
is aware of the cluster structure. In Quote message, the hop we subtract t0 from the arrival time of bus, depart time of bus,
count of being relayed is recorded. In the Quote released by arrival time of sensory data at B node i. Without introducing
source CH, hop count is 0, which is increased by 1 per relay. new notations, from now on, both Xi and Zi are t0 free.
Once a B node receives a Quote message, in Step 3 it One fundamental requirement of successful delivery at B
transmits a Reply message to the source CH through the node i is that UM should arrive at i before the deadline ∆:
reverse path. Such Reply message contains the B node ID
(denoted by i), the arrival time of the coming bus (which 3ti ≤ ∆. (4)

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This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/JIOT.2017.2707464, IEEE Internet of
Things Journal
IEEE Internet of Things Journal 4

Otherwise, transmitting data to i is in vain. Two specific •Ratio of successful delivery (RSD): the ratio of the
situations of successful delivery are shown in Fig. 2. Fig. 2a number of UM successfully delivered to the total number
demonstrates Situation 1 where the bus arrives early and UM of events occurred.
should arrive before the bus leaves. In this case, the condition • Ratio of pick-up (RPU): the ratio of the number of UMs
is formulated as follows: picked up within ∆ to the number of target B nodes which
received UM.
Xi ≤ 3ti ≤ Zi . (5)
RSD describes the reliability of the delivery approach. The
Fig. 2b demonstrates Situation 2 where UM arrives early. larger the RSD, the more reliable the scheme is. RPU describes
Then, it requires that the bus arrives before ∆. In this case, the efficiency of the delivery scheme. The higher RPU, the
the condition is formulated as follows: more efficient.
Since the B nodes are equipped with limited energy re-
3ti ≤ Xi ≤ ∆. (6)
source, w consider energy consumption on packet transmission
Let FXi (xi ) and FZi (zi ) be the cumulative distribution as another metric. The energy dissipation model used in
functions of Xi and Zi respectively. The probability that previous work, e.g., [32], [33], is adopted:
Situation 1 occurs can be calculated by
(
P1 (i) = FXi (3ti )(1 − FZi (3ti )). (7) l × (Eelec + Ef s × d2 ), if d ≤ d0
Et (l, d) = (13)
l × (Eelec + Emp × d4 ), if d > d0
The probability that Situation 2 occurs can be calculated by
where Et (l, d) is the total energy dissipated to deliver a single
P2 (i) = FXi (∆)(1 − FXi (3ti )). (8)
l-bit packet from a transmitter to its receiver over a single link
Since Situation 1 and 2 are mutually exclusive, the probability of distance d. The Eelec depends on electronic factors such
of successful delivery at B node i is as digital coding, modulation, filtering, and spreading of the
signal. The amplifier energy in free space Ef s or in multipath
P (i) = P1 (i) + P2 (i). (9)
environment Emp depends on the distance from the transmitter
We are in the position to introduce the delivery delay to the receiver. The threshold is d0 . The parameters in (13) are
requirement. Let α be the threshold for the probability of consistent with those in [32].
successful delivery of sensory data to any M nodes. The
delivery delay requirement is formulated as follows: A. Environment set up
Y
1− (1 − P (i))I(i) ≥ α. (10) We test our approach in a simulated network, consisting
i∈T of 400 S nodes randomly deployed in the eastern suburb of
Requirement (10) is also called α constraint and it can be Sydney. There are several bus lines operating in this field and
transformed into a linear version as follows: we select five of them (418, 395, 303, M50 and 353). We
X select 37 bus stops and each is associated with a B node. The B
ln(1 − P (i))I(i) ≤ ln(1 − α). (11) nodes store the timetable for the corresponding bus operations.
i∈T They can also learn the distribution of actual arrival over long
Considering the basic requirement (4), we introduce a β time observation. These five bus lines are with frequencies
constraint as follow: 10, 6, 13, 8 and 15 minutes respectively. We assume the
arrival time and stop duration are independent and both follow
3βhi I(i) ≤ ∆, i ∈ R. (12) Gaussian distribution. Thus, the departing time also follow
where βhi = ti and β is the time cost for one hop transmis- Gaussian distribution, whose mean and standard deviation can
sion. be obtained from those of arrival time and stop duration.
With these definitions, our optimization problem looks for We simulate an interested event: Event A and apply I-
a set S which minimizes the objective function (2) subject to UMDPC, UMPDC and Stash to deliver UM. We conduct
the α constraint (11) and β constraint (12). Note, the approach extensive simulations on Event A under different parameter
which does not consider the stop time uncertainty is named sets. We display the illustrative results by the considered
as UMDPC. approaches in Fig. 3, where ∆ = 1.5 minutes, α = 0.997
(three-sigma rule), and β = 1 second. As seen in Fig. 3, the
three approaches select 6, 9 and 15 target B nodes respectively.
IV. S IMULATION R ESULTS
In the following parts, we further investigate the impacts of
The general idea of our simulations is to simulate an ∆, α and β on the performance of the considered approaches.
interested event at certain time and place, and check if the Note, the number of B nodes also influences the performance
delivery approaches can successfully transmit UM to any M of I-UMDPC, which has been reported in [34].
nodes within ∆. We define that UM is successfully delivered if
it is picked up by any M nodes from any target B nodes within
∆. In (10), we require that the probability of successfully B. The influence of ∆
delivered (PSD) should be no smaller than α. We investigate the influence of ∆, which is an application
We consider two metrics related to successful delivery: dependent parameter. Here, α = 0.997 and β = 1 second.

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This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/JIOT.2017.2707464, IEEE Internet of
Things Journal
IEEE Internet of Things Journal 5

20
0.7
19 I-UMDPC total
10 0.6 UMDPC total
37 11
18 Stash total
I-UMDPC delivery

Energy consumption (J)


0.5 UMDPC delivery
36
9 Stash delivery
21 17
0.4 I-UMDPC route
22 UMDPC route
8 Stash route
16 0.3
35

31 7
30
15
6 29
0.2
24 23
34
25

1
28
27
0.1
14
2 26 3 4 5

0
33 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6
13
(minute)
32
Event A Source CH
Source node 12 Fig. 4: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in terms
of energy consumption under different ∆.
(a)
20
19

10
37 11
18
as shown in Fig. 5.
36
9
21 17

22 35 I-UMDPC
8 UMDPC
16
35
30 Stash

Number of target B nodes


31 7
30
15
24 23 6 29 25
34
25
28
1 14 27 20
2 26 3 4 5

15
33
13

10
32
Event A Source CH
Source node 12
5

(b) 0
0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6
20
19 (minute)
10
18 37 11
Fig. 5: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in terms
36
of number of target B nodes under different ∆.
9
21 17

22

16
8
35
As shown in Fig. 6, the RSDs of them increase with ∆.
31
30
7 When ∆ is between 0.4 and 1.2, the RSD of UMDPC is higher
15
6 29

25
24 23
34 than that of I-UMDPC. The reason is that all the B nodes are
1
2 26
14
4
28
27 selected as targets by UMDPC. When ∆ is larger than 1.2,
3 5
I-UMDPC and UMDPC achieve similar RSD. We also notice
33
13
that I-UMDPC and UMDPC perform better than Stash. The
Event A
32
influence of ∆ on RPU is demonstrated in Fig. 7. The trend of
Source node 12
RPU is similar to RSD. When ∆ ≤ 1.2, the RPU of UMDPC is
(c) lower than Stash; while when ∆ ≥ 1.3, the RPU of UMDPC is
larger than Stash. The reason is that Stash prefers the B nodes
Fig. 3: UM delivery routes by I-UMDPC, UMDPC, and Stash
which are cheap to deliver to, while UMDPC focuses more
for Event A (∆ = 1.5 minutes, α = 0.997, and β = 1 second).
on the reliability of delivery. I-UMDPC outperforms UMDPC
and Stash for all the considered ∆.
From the above analysis, we conclude that the larger
As seen from Fig. 4, with the increase of ∆, the energy
(smaller) ∆, the easier (more difficult) to deliver UM suc-
consumed by I-UMDPC on delivery decreases. For UMDPC,
cessfully, leading to lower (higher) energy consumption and
when ∆ is between 0.4 and 1.2 minutes, the energy consump-
number of target B nodes, and higher (lower) RSD and RPU.
tion remains the same; while it decreases when ∆ is between
1.3 and 1.7 minutes. This is because when ∆ is smaller than
1.2 minutes, UMDPC is unable to find feasible solution of C. The influence of α
the optimization problem. Thus, all 37 B nodes are selected This section considers the impact of α. Here, ∆ = 1.5
as targets (see Fig. 5). I-UMDPC and UMDPC consume the minutes and β = 1 second. Since I-UMDPC and UMDPC
same energy on route construction. I-UMDPC consumes less consume the same amount of energy on route construction and
on delivery than UMDPC. Stash spends more energy than I- Stash is non-sensitive to the investigated parameters in terms
UMDPC and UMDPC in both route construction and delivery. of energy consumption, we only display the total amounts here
These results are consistent with the numbers of target B nodes and in the next section.

2327-4662 (c) 2016 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission. See http://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/rights/index.html for more information.
This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/JIOT.2017.2707464, IEEE Internet of
Things Journal
IEEE Internet of Things Journal 6

100 0.7
I-UMDPC
UMDPC I-UMDPC
0.6 UMDPC

Total energy consumption (J)


90 Stash
Stash
0.5

80
RSD (%)
0.4

70 0.3

0.2
60
0.1

50
0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 0
0.97 0.975 0.98 0.985 0.99 0.995 1
(minute)

Fig. 6: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in terms Fig. 8: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in terms
of RSD under different ∆. of energy consumption under different α.

70
20
I-UMDPC
I-UMDPC
60 UMDPC
UMDPC
Stash
Stash

Number of target B nodes


50 15
Average RPU (%)

40

10
30

20
5
10

0
0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 0
0.97 0.975 0.98 0.985 0.99 0.995 1
(minute)

Fig. 7: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in terms Fig. 9: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in terms
of RPU under different ∆. of number of target B nodes under different α.

Here, α takes 0.970, 0.980, 0.990, 0.997 and 0.999. With probability that M node arrives early (7), see Fig. 2a) is the
the increasing of α, the energy consumptions and the numbers dominant in (9). Through simulations we find that with the
of target B nodes by I-UMDPC and UMDPC increase as increase of β, P decreases. From the above analysis we can
shown in Fig. 8 and Fig. 9, respectively. The reason lies in α obtain that, the larger β, the smaller P . This is also the reason
constraint (10). For the fixed ∆ and β, α constraint impacts that the energy consumptions as well as the numbers of target
on the target B nodes. Generally, the more strict (10), i.e., the B nodes by I-UMDPC and UMDPC raise with the increase
larger α, the more target B nodes are required, which further of β, see Fig. 12 and 13. Another interesting phenomenon in
influences the energy consumption by target B nodes. Fig. 10 Fig. 12 and 13 is that when β is larger than 2.25 seconds,
shows that the I-UMDPC and UMDPC become more reliable target B node number by UMDPC is bounded by the number
with higher α. However, the efficiencies of them decrease with of available B nodes. This is because that there is no solution
α, see Fig. 11. Similar to the simulations in Section IV-B, to the optimization problem in UMDPC. In the meanwhile,
Stash is non-sensitive to α, thus the energy consumption and the energy consumption also increases and is bounded.
B node number remain constant with varying α. RSD and RPU In terms of RSD, I-UMDPC achieves the similar perfor-
change slightly due to the random simulation of bus operation. mance as UMDPC when β is smaller than 2.25 seconds. When
From these simulations we can observe that I-UMDPC β takes larger values, all the B nodes are selected as targets,
achieves similar reliability with UMDPC and outperforms then RSD of UMDPC definitely achieves the best, see Fig. 14.
UMDPC as well as Stash in terms of efficiency. However, the situation of RPU is different. With the increase
of β, the RPUs of all the three approaches decrease. Among
D. The influence of β them, I-UMDPC performs at least 20% better than UMDPC
This section investigates the influence of β. β is a parameter and around 2 times better than Stash. Therefore, I-UMDPC
determining the time cost to delivery message to a B node, i.e., performs similarly to UMDPC in reliability but better than
ti = βhi , for B node i. Moreover, it impacts on the probability UMDPC in efficiency.
of collecting a UM from a B node, see (7), (8) and (9). For
small β, the probability of Situation 2 (i.e., the probability that V. E XPERIMENTAL R ESULTS
UM arrives early (8), see Fig. 2b) is dominant in (9). In this We carried out implementations of the proposed approach
case, with the increase of β, the probability P decreases. In on our testbed, which consists of 42 ESP8266 module based
contrast, for large β, the probability of Situation 1 (i.e., the S nodes, see Fig. 16a. Each node has a DHT11 module to

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This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/JIOT.2017.2707464, IEEE Internet of
Things Journal
IEEE Internet of Things Journal 7

100 0.7
I-UMDPC
0.6 UMDPC

Total energy consumption (J)


98 Stash
0.5

96
RSD (%)
0.4

94 0.3

0.2
92 I-UMDPC
UMDPC 0.1
Stash
90 0
0.97 0.975 0.98 0.985 0.99 0.995 1
0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5
(second)

Fig. 10: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in Fig. 12: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in
terms of RSD under different α. terms of energy consumption under different β.

70
I-UMDPC 35 I-UMDPC
60 UMDPC UMDPC
Stash 30 Stash

Number of target B nodes


50
Average RPU (%)

25

40
20

30
15

20 10

10 5

0 0
0.97 0.975 0.98 0.985 0.99 0.995 1 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5
(second)

Fig. 11: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in Fig. 13: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in
terms of RPU under different α. terms of number of target B nodes under different β.

monitor the ambient temperature and an event is detected if that Stash always select 8 target B nodes since there are 8
the reading is over the threshold. 16 ESP8266 modules serve M nodes. This number by I-UMDPC is always no larger than
as B nodes. We design 4 paths (see Fig. 16b) for M nodes UMDPC since the former considers the stop time. Fig. 17b
and 8 volunteers carrying ESP8266 modules act as buses on shows the RPU of Stash is usually the smallest. In other words,
the paths. Each of the M nodes has a specific timetable and the selection strategy is inefficient. But there are cases where
the B nodes along its path know it. its RPU is larger than I-UMDPC and UMDPC, for example
Since the testbed does not have enough nodes as the when the source node is 24 and 25. I-UMDPC achieves the
simulations above and clustering is not the focus of this paper, best performance in RPU among the three approaches in most
clustering is not implemented in the experiments. We assume experiments, while there are also cases where UMDPC is
the topology of the network is known to the nodes. These performs the best. For example, when the source node is 19,
nodes communicate with each via WiFi. To make a node I-UMDPC chose 2 target B nodes while UMDPC chose a third
communicate with only its neighbour nodes, we set a threshold one. One of the 2 B nodes failed to upload UM while the third
for the S and B nodes, i.e., -40dB, corresponding to 1 meter, one uploaded. Thus, the RPU of I-UMDPC is 50% while that
according to the tested Received Signal Strength Indicator of UMDPC is 67%. In summary, I-UMDPC performed the
(RSSI) in Fig. 16c. To make B nodes communicate with M best in 93% cases, which showed its effectiveness.
nodes only when the latter arrives, we set another threshold
for B nodes, i.e., -20dB, corresponding to about 0.2 meters. In VI. C ONCLUSION
the simulations, we use βhi to estimate the time to transmit This paper considers the applications of wireless sensor
packet between source node and B node i. However, since β networks where the users require fresh report of an event.
is unknown in practice, that estimation is not precise. Besides, We define that the report message is fresh if it is delivered to
different nodes may have varying β. Thus, in the experiments, M nodes within the given latency. We present an Improved-
such time requirement is measured by the source node, which Unusual Message Delivery Path Construction approach (I-
takes into account the time of processing and transmitting. UMDPC) for UM delivery. I-UMDPC combines cluster-based
We selected each S node as the source node once by making routing, M nodes which are attached to buses and an optimiza-
a fire near it and we totally did 42 experiments for each of the tion based target B nodes selection procedure. The features of
considered approaches. We set α as 0.997, ∆ as 1 minute. We bus operation, i.e., the uncertain arrival time and stop duration
summarise the experiment results in Fig. 17. Fig. 17a shows at a bus, are formulated by random variables and accounted

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This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/JIOT.2017.2707464, IEEE Internet of
Things Journal
IEEE Internet of Things Journal 8

100

98

96
RSD (%)

94

92 I-UMDPC
UMDPC
Stash
90 (a)
0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 0
(second)
-20
Fig. 14: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in

RSSI(dB)
-40
terms of RSD under different β.
-60

-80
70
I-UMDPC -100
60 UMDPC 0 5 10 15 20
Stash Distance (meter)

50 (b) (c)
Average RPU (%)

40
Fig. 16: Node deployment for I-UMDPC experiments. (a)
30 Node deployment. (b) Visualization with M nodes’ paths.
20
Black circles are S nodes; Blue square are B nodes and the
red curves are M nodes’ paths. (c) RSSI against distance.
10

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0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5
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2327-4662 (c) 2016 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission. See http://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/rights/index.html for more information.
This article has been accepted for publication in a future issue of this journal, but has not been fully edited. Content may change prior to final publication. Citation information: DOI 10.1109/JIOT.2017.2707464, IEEE Internet of
Things Journal
IEEE Internet of Things Journal
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1
Hailong Huang was born in 1988 in China. He
received the B.Sc. degree in automation from China
0.8
University of Petroleum, Beijing, China, 2012. He is
currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree with the School
0.6 of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications at
RPU(%)

University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


He is also with DATA61-CSIRO Australia. His
0.4 current research interests include data collection in
wireless sensor networks, networking protocols, and
0.2
guidance, navigation and control of mobile robots.

0
0 10 20 30 40
Source node

(b)
Fig. 17: Comparison of I-UMDPC, UMDPC and Stash in real Andrey V. Savkin was born in 1965 in Norilsk,
experiments. (a) Target B node number. (b) RPU. U.S.S.R. He received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees
from the Leningrad State University, U.S.S.R. in
1987 and 1991, respectively. From 1987 to 1992,
he was with the Television Research Institute,
Leningrad, U.S.S.R. From 1992 to 1994, he held a
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IEEE, 2007, pp. 311–320. Engineering, Australian Defence Force Academy,
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[23] P. Baruah, R. Urgaonkar, and B. Krishnamachari, “Learning-enforced Engineering at the University of Western Australia, Perth. Since 2000, he has
time domain routing to mobile sinks in wireless sensor fields,” in the been a Professor with the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommuni-
29th Annu. IEEE Int. Conf. Local Comput. Net. IEEE, 2004, pp. 525– cations at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. His current
532. research interests include robust control and state estimation, hybrid dynamical
[24] A. Chakrabarti, A. Sabharwal, and B. Aazhang, “Using predictable systems, guidance, navigation and control of mobile robots, applications of
observer mobility for power efficient design of sensor networks,” in control and signal processing in biomedical engineering and medicine. He has
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sensor networks with path-constrained mobile sinks,” IEEE Trans. Chao Huang was born in 1990 in China. She
Mobile Comput., vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 592–608, 2011. received the B.E. degree in automation from the
[28] C. Konstantopoulos, G. Pantziou, D. Gavalas, A. Mpitziopoulos, and China University of Petroleum in 2012. She is
B. Mamalis, “A rendezvous-based approach enabling energy-efficient currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree with the School
sensory data collection with mobile sinks,” IEEE Trans. Parallel Distrib. of electrical, Computer and Telecommunications
Syst., vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 809–817, 2012. Engineering at the University of Wollongong. Her
[29] C. Tunca, S. Isik, M. Y. Donmez, and C. Ersoy, “Distributed mobile current research interests include control systems,
sink routing for wireless sensor networks: A survey,” IEEE Commun. optimization, and wireless sensor networks.
Surveys Tuts., vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 877–897, 2014.
[30] H. Huang and A. V. Savkin, “An energy efficient approach for data col-
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AEU Int. J. Electron. Commun., vol. 75, pp. 108–118, 2017.

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