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Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6457942, 14 pages
Review Article

Energy Efficient Hierarchical Clustering Approaches in Wireless Sensor Networks: A Survey

1Department of Computer Science & IT, Sarhad University of Science and IT, Peshawar, Pakistan
2Department of Computer Science, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan
3Department of Control and Computer Engineering (DAUIN), Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Bilal Jan; kp.ude.tius@tisc.lalib

Received 24 May 2017; Revised 2 September 2017; Accepted 11 September 2017; Published 29 October 2017

Academic Editor: Pierre-Martin Tardif

Copyright © 2017 Bilal Jan 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.


Wireless sensor networks (WSN) are one of the significant technologies due to their diverse applications such as health care monitoring, smart phones, military, disaster management, and other surveillance systems. Sensor nodes are usually deployed in large number that work independently in unattended harsh environments. Due to constraint resources, typically the scarce battery power, these wireless nodes are grouped into clusters for energy efficient communication. In clustering hierarchical schemes have achieved great interest for minimizing energy consumption. Hierarchical schemes are generally categorized as cluster-based and grid-based approaches. In cluster-based approaches, nodes are grouped into clusters, where a resourceful sensor node is nominated as a cluster head (CH) while in grid-based approach the network is divided into confined virtual grids usually performed by the base station. This paper highlights and discusses the design challenges for cluster-based schemes, the important cluster formation parameters, and classification of hierarchical clustering protocols. Moreover, existing cluster-based and grid-based techniques are evaluated by considering certain parameters to help users in selecting appropriate technique. Furthermore, a detailed summary of these protocols is presented with their advantages, disadvantages, and applicability in particular cases.