Maximizing barrier coverage lifetime with mobile sensors

Amotz Bar-Noy, Dror Rawitz, Peter Terlecky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Sensor networks are ubiquitously used for detection and tracking and, as a result, covering is one of the main tasks of such networks. We study the problem of maximizing the coverage lifetime of a barrier by mobile sensors with limited battery power, where the coverage lifetime is the time until there is a breakdown in coverage due to the death of a sensor. Sensors are first deployed and then coverage commences. Energy is consumed in proportion to the distance traveled for mobility, while for coverage, energy is consumed in direct proportion to the radius of the sensor raised to a constant exponent. We study two variants which are distinguished by whether the sensing radii are given as part of the input or can be optimized: the fixed radii problem and the variable radii problem. We design parametric search algorithms for both problems for the case where the final order of the sensors is predetermined (e.g., sensors cannot swap locations and the initial order must be preserved) and for the case where sensors are initially located at barrier endpoints. In contrast, we show that the variable radii problem is strongly NP-hard and provide hardness of approximation results for fixed radii for the case where all the sensors are initially colocated at an internal point of the barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-596
Number of pages24
JournalSIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.


  • Approximation algorithms
  • Barrier coverage
  • Mobile sensors
  • Network lifetime
  • Sensor deployment
  • Sensor networks


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