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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 937462, 12 pages
Research Article

Node Classification Based on Functionality in Energy-Efficient and Reliable Wireless Sensor Networks

1Department of Computer Science, Chungbuk National University, 52 Naesudong-ro, Cheongju 361-763, Republic of Korea
2Department of Software Engineering, Chungbuk National University, 52 Naesudong-ro, Cheongju 361-763, Republic of Korea

Received 27 May 2012; Revised 24 September 2012; Accepted 30 November 2012

Academic Editor: Regina B. Araujo

Copyright © 2012 Ning Sun et al. 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.


Energy efficiency and reliability are two important factors when we design a wireless sensor network (WSN). In this paper, we proposed an energy-efficient and reliable hierarchical mechanism for WSNs. We utilized clustering structure to decrease energy consumption. Because cluster head plays an important role in WSN, we designed a substitute of cluster head (SCH) in order to guarantee the data propagation reliability. Based on different functionalities of sensor nodes we creatively classify sensor nodes into five categories: branch node (BN), cluster head (CH), substitute of cluster head (SCH), intermedium node (IN), and normal node. By adopting different MAC and network strategies for different node categories, energy consumption can be greatly reduced and data reliability can be significantly increased in the proposed WSN mechanism. The simulation results showed that this proposed mechanism realized the objective in aspects of energy efficiency and reliability.