, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 519-528

The Coverage Problem in a Wireless Sensor Network

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One of the fundamental issues in sensor networks is the coverage problem, which reflects how well a sensor network is monitored or tracked by sensors. In this paper, we formulate this problem as a decision problem, whose goal is to determine whether every point in the service area of the sensor network is covered by at least k sensors, where k is a given parameter. The sensing ranges of sensors can be unit disks or non-unit disks. We present polynomial-time algorithms, in terms of the number of sensors, that can be easily translated to distributed protocols. The result is a generalization of some earlier results where only k = 1 is assumed. Applications of the result include determining insufficiently covered areas in a sensor network, enhancing fault-tolerant capability in hostile regions, and conserving energies of redundant sensors in a randomly deployed network. Our solutions can be easily translated to distributed protocols to solve the coverage problem.