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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 290717, 12 pages
Research Article

Ant-Based Transmission Range Assignment Scheme for Energy Hole Problem in Wireless Sensor Networks

School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Sichuan, Chengdu 611731, China

Received 13 September 2012; Accepted 9 October 2012

Academic Editor: Nianbo Liu

Copyright © 2012 Ming Liu and Chao Song. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigate the problem of uneven energy consumption in large-scale many-to-one sensor networks (modeled as concentric coronas) with constant data reporting, which is known as an energy hole around the sink. We conclude that lifetime maximization and the energy hole problem can be solved by searching optimal transmission range for the sensors in each corona and then prove this is an NP-hard optimization problem. In view of the effectiveness of ant colony algorithms in solving combinatorial optimization problems, we propose an ant-based heuristic algorithm (ASTRL) to address the optimal transmission range assignment for the goal of achieving life maximization of sensor networks. Experimentation shows that the performance of ASTRL is very close to the optimal results obtained from exhaustive search method. Furthermore, extensive simulations have also been performed to evaluate the performance of ASTRL using various simulation parameters. The simulation results reveal that, with low communication cost, ASTRL can significantly mitigate the energy hole problem in wireless sensor networks with either uniform or nonuniform node distribution.