Maximizing Sensor Lifetime with the Minimal Service Cost of a Mobile Charger in Wireless Sensor Networks

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Wenzheng Xu
  • Zichuan Xu
  • Zheng Li
  • Yiguang Liu

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2564-2577
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number11
Online published8 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


Wireless energy transfer technology based on magnetic resonant coupling has emerged as a promising technology for wireless sensor networks, by providing controllable yet continual energy to sensors. In this paper, we study the use of a mobile charger to wirelessly charge sensors in a rechargeable sensor network so that the sum of sensor lifetimes is maximized while the travel distance of the mobile charger is minimized. Unlike existing studies that assumed a mobile charger must charge a sensor to its full energy capacity before moving to charge the next sensor, we here assume that each sensor can be partially charged so that more sensors can be charged before their energy depletions. Under this new energy charging model, we first formulate two novel optimization problems of scheduling a mobile charger to charge a set of sensors, with the objectives to maximize the sum of sensor lifetimes and to minimize the travel distance of the mobile charger while achieving the maximum sum of sensor lifetimes, respectively. We then propose efficient algorithms for the problems. We finally evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithms through experimental simulations. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed algorithms are very promising. Especially, the average energy expiration duration per sensor by the proposed algorithm for maximizing the sum of sensor lifetimes is only 9 percent of that by the state-of-the-art algorithm while the travel distance of the mobile charger by the second proposed algorithm is only about from 1 to 15 percent longer than that by the state-of-the-art benchmark.

Research Area(s)

  • mobile chargers, partial charging, Rechargeable sensor networks, sensor charging scheduling, sensor lifetime maximization, service cost minimization, wireless energy transfer

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