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A wireless sensor network comprises a number of inexpensive power constrained wireless sensor nodes which collect data from the sensing environment and transmit them toward the remote base station in a coordinated way. Employing techniques of clustering can reduce energy consumption of wireless sensor nodes and prolong the network lifetime. This paper proposes a decentralized clustering algorithm for wireless sensor networks based on the structure of social insect colonies. The clustering algorithm is evaluated assuming a first-order radio model. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm brings a consistent improvement over other decentralized and centralized clustering algorithms in terms of network lifetime and sensing coverage. Simulation results also show that the proposed algorithm can reduce delays in data collection processes.

A number of algorithms have been proposed specifically for forming clusters in sensor networks. Basically, any clustering algorithm in sensor networks is concerned with the management of clusters, which includes forming a suitable number of clusters, selecting a cluster head for each cluster, and controlling the data transmission within clusters and from cluster heads to the base station.

LEACH is a decentralized algorithm which forms multiple clusters with two-hop topology. In LEACH, one single node will be randomly elected as the cluster head in each cluster. A cluster head will collect data from its cluster members. As the contents of the collected data are highly correlated, with the use of data/decision fusion techniques, multiple data packets can be combined into one single packet. Therefore, fewer transmissions are required by a cluster head to report its data to a base station.

PEGASIS can control the number of cluster heads effectively. However, being a centralized algorithm, PEGASIS is vulnerable to attacks due to the presence of a centralized

processing point. It also comes with a large amount of communication overhead, which limits its scalability.

PEDAP is another centralized clustering scheme. PEDAP organizes sensor nodes into a single minimum spanning tree. The minimum spanning tree is formed by Prims algorithm. The original cost function used in Prims algorithm is replaced by a function in terms of the geographical distance among sensor nodes and the sensor nodes residual energy. The root of the tree structure will become the cluster head. Each node receives data from their child nodes, fuses the data with its own and transmits it to its parent node. Finally, the fused data will reach the cluster head and being forwarded to the base station. PEDAP can effectively reduce the total path length and reduce the number of connections to low energy


In this paper, we will adopt this decentralized organizational approach to derive an algorithm for forming and managing clusters for sensor networks.

In the proposed algorithm, each sensor node in a wireless sensor network is analogous to an individual in a social insect colony. The cluster heads are the queens and the remaining nodes are the workers. The retinue compounds are represented by global control packets (GCP), while the QMP is represented by local control packets (LCP). The cluster heads will make use of the GCP and LCP to form clusters, control the number of clusters, and reelect cluster heads in a fully decentralized manner. A detailed explanation of the proposed algorithm will be given in the next section.




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