Self-organized routing for wireless microsensor networks

Alex Rogers, Esther David, Nicholas R. Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


In this paper, we develop an energy-aware self-organized routing algorithm for the networking of simple battery-powered wireless microsensors (as found, for example, in security or environmental monitoring applications). In these networks, the battery life of individual sensors is typically limited by the power required to transmit their data to a receiver or sink. Thus, effective network-routing algorithms allow us to reduce this power and extend both the lifetime and the coverage of the sensor network as a whole. However, implementing such routing algorithms with a centralized controller is undesirable due to the physical distribution of the sensors, their limited localization ability, and the dynamic nature of such networks (given that sensors may fail, move, or be added at any time and the communication links between sensors are subject to noise and interference). Against this background, we present a distributed mechanism that enables individual sensors to follow locally selfish strategies, which, in turn, result in the self-organization of a routing network with desirable global properties. We show that our mechanism performs close to the optimal solution (as computed by a centralized optimizer), it deals adaptively with changing sensor numbers and topology, and it extends the useful life of the network by a factor of three over the traditional approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-359
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Part A:Systems and Humans
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received May 29, 2004; revised October 8, 2004 and November 17, 2004. This research was undertaken as part of the ARGUS II DARP (Defense and Aerospace Research Partnership). This is a collaborative project involving BAE SYSTEMS, QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce, Oxford University, and Southampton University, and was supported by the industrial partners together with the EPSRC, MoD, and DTI. This paper was recommended by the Guest Editors.


  • Adaptive self-organized routing
  • Distributed systems
  • Mechanism design
  • Sensor network


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