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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 718297, 12 pages
Research Article

An Efficient Data Evacuation Strategy for Sensor Networks in Postdisaster Applications

1School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 611731, China
2School of Computer Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798

Received 10 October 2012; Accepted 26 November 2012

Academic Editor: Nianbo Liu

Copyright © 2013 Ming Liu 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.


Disasters often result in a tremendous cost to our society. Previously, wireless sensor networks have been proposed to provide information for decision making in postdisaster relief operations. The existing WSN solutions for postdisaster operations normally assume that the deployed sensor network can tolerate the damage caused by disasters and maintain its connectivity and coverage, even though a significant portion of nodes have been physically destroyed. Inspired by the “blackbox” technique, we propose that preserving “the last snapshot” of the whole network and transferring those data to a safe zone would be the most logical approach to provide necessary information for rescuing lives and control damages. In this paper, we introduce data evacuation (DE), an original idea that takes advantage of the survival time of the WSN, that is, the gap from the time when the disaster hits and the time when the WSN is paralyzed, to transmit critical data to sensor nodes in the safe zone. Numerical investigations reveal the effectiveness of our proposed DE algorithm.