, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 519-528

The Coverage Problem in a Wireless Sensor Network

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Abstract

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.

A preliminary version of this paper has appeared in the Workshop on Wireless Sensor Networks and Applications, 2003, San Diego, CA, USA.
Chi-Fu Huang received his B.S. and M.S. degrees both in Computer Science and Information Engineering from the Feng-Chia University and the National Central University in 1999 and 2001, respectively. He obtained his Ph.D. in the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering from the National Chiao-Tung University in September of 2004. He is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan. His research interests include wireless communication and mobile computing, especially in ad hoc and sensor networks.
Yu-Chee Tseng received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from the National Taiwan University and the National Tsing-Hua University in 1985 and 1987, respectively. He worked for the D-LINK Inc. as an engineer in 1990. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from the Ohio State University in January of 1994. He was an Associate Professor at the Chung-Hua University (1994–1996) and at the National Central University (1996–1999), and a Full Professor at the National Central University (1999–2000). Since 2000, he has been a Full Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan. Dr. Tseng served as a Program Chair in the Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing Workshop, 2000 and 2001, as a Vice Program Chair in the Int’l Conf. on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), 2004, as a Vice Program Chair in the IEEE Int’l Conf. on Mobile Ad-hoc and Sensor Systems (MASS), 2004, as an Associate Editor for The Computer Journal, as a Guest Editor for ACM Wireless Networks special issue on “Advances in Mobile and Wireless Systems”, as a Guest Editor for IEEE Transactions on Computers special on “Wireless Internet”, as a Guest Editor for Journal of Internet Technology special issue on “Wireless Internet: Applications and Systems”, as a Guest Editor for Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing special issue on “Research in Ad Hoc Networking, Smart Sensing, and Pervasive Computing”, as an Editor for Journal of Information Science and Engineering, as a Guest Editor for Telecommunication Systems special issue on “Wireless Sensor Networks”, and as a Guest Editor for Journal of Information Science and Engineering special issue on “Mobile Computing”. He is a two-time recipient of the Outstanding Research Award, National Science Council, ROC, in 2001–2002 and 2003–2005, and a recipient of the Best Paper Award in Int’l Conf. on Parallel Processing, 2003. Several of his papers have been chosen as Selected/Distinguished Papers in international conferences. He has guided students to participate in several national programming contests and received several awards. His research interests include mobile computing, wireless communication, network security, and parallel and distributed computing. Dr. Tseng is a member of ACM and a Senior Member of IEEE.
This revised version was published online in August 2005 with a corrected cover date.