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ISRN Communications and Networking
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 860936, 10 pages
Research Article

Self-Aware Distributed Consensus Building for Sensor Networks

School of Engineering, The University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA

Received 9 August 2011; Accepted 15 September 2011

Academic Editors: M. Maier and R. Montemanni

Copyright © 2011 Lei Chen and Jeff Frolik. 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.


Distributed consensus building promises to improve the robustness and reliability of sensor networks and thus is an active topic of research. Whereas extensive study has been done on the theoretical analysis of the asymptotic behavior of consensus building, one important issue that is crucial to the practical implementation of sensor networks was rarely explored, namely, the criteria to determine whether consensus has been attained. In this paper, we propose an approach that allows each node in a network to make the decision by itself, based on the second derivatives of its own state. The approach does not rely on the states of other nodes, leads to substantial saving of communication resources, and is resilient to connection failure. We perform a systematic analysis of the approach and, as a consequence, derive the optimal parameters that minimize the upper bound of the number of required iterations to reach consensus.