The Journal of Supercomputing

, Volume 75, Issue 11, pp 7426–7459 | Cite as

A load balancing virtual level routing (LBVLR) using mobile mule for large sensor networks

  • Sunil Kumar SinghEmail author
  • Prabhat Kumar


In a large sensor network, the data are usually routed back to the static base station (BS) using multi-hop communication. The sensor nodes near the BS suffer from an energy hole problem owing to the heavier data traffic load on them. Hence, the nodes near to the BS die early and thereby minimize the network lifetime. The mobile carriers have been considered as a better approach to balance the energy consumption by minimizing the number of transmissions. In spite of several benefits, the mobile carriers have a lot of challenges in data collection from sensor nodes. This paper presents a load balancing virtual level-based routing (LBVLR) using a data mule as a mobile carrier to deal with energy holes and ensure reliable data transfer. Our scheme has attempted to palliate the energy hole problem by applying horizontal level routing in the left and right directions. Fixed virtual rectangular grids of equal size are formed with the help of a mobile data mule and the BS that minimizes the network overheads, which saves a significant amount of energy. This approach uses three different data collection schemes based on the mule speed during trajectory, and we name them uniform speed of mule, variable speed of mule and sojourn point of mule. To compare the performance with the other works, LBVLR is evaluated mathematically and extensive simulations are conducted. The simulation results show a significant improvement in terms of average energy usage, data delivery delay and data delivery ratio compared with the other two similar kinds of well-known routing protocols.


Large sensor network Grid-based cluster Mobile data mule Energy hole Grid head Virtual level routing Energy efficient 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, for supporting the financial assistant during research work through “Visvesvaraya PhD Scheme for Electronics and IT”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringNational Institute of Technology PatnaPatnaIndia
  2. 2.School of Computer Science and EngineeringVIT-AP UniversityAmaravatiIndia

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