“Green” barrier coverage with mobile sensors

Amotz Bar-Noy, Thomas Erlebach, Dror Rawitz, Peter Terlecky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Mobile sensors are located on a barrier represented by a line segment. Each sensor has a single energy source that can be used for both moving and sensing. A sensor consumes energy in movement in proportion to distance traveled, and it expends energy per time unit for sensing in direct proportion to its radius raised to a constant exponent. We address the problem of energy efficient coverage. The input consists of the initial locations of the sensors and a coverage time requirement t. A feasible solution consists of an assignment of destinations and coverage radii to all sensors such that the barrier is covered. We consider two variants of the problem that are distinguished by whether the radii are given as part of the input. In the fixed radii case, we are also given a radii vector ρ, and the radii assignment r must satisfy ri∈{0,ρi}, for every i, while in the variable radii case the radii assignment is unrestricted. The goal is to cover the barrier for t time in an energy efficient manner. More specifically, we consider two objective functions. In the first the goal is to minimize the sum of the energy spent by all sensors and in the second the goal is to minimize the maximum energy used by any sensor. We present fully polynomial time approximation schemes for the problem of minimizing the energy sum with variable radii and for the problem of minimizing the maximum energy with variable radii. We also show that the latter can be approximated within any additive constant ε>0. We present a 2-approximation algorithm for the problem of minimizing the maximum energy with fixed radii which also is shown to be strongly NP-hard. We show that the problem of minimizing the energy sum with fixed radii cannot be approximated within a factor of O(nc), for any constant c, unless P = NP. Additional results are given for three special cases: (i) sensors are stationary, (ii) free movement, and (iii) uniform fixed radii.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-134
Number of pages18
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
StatePublished - 8 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Approximation algorithms
  • Barrier coverage
  • Energy conservation
  • Mobile sensors
  • Sensor deployment
  • Sensor networks


Dive into the research topics of '“Green” barrier coverage with mobile sensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this