A wireless ad hoc sensor network (WSN) is a configuration for area surveillance that affords rapid, flexible deployment in arbitrary threat environments. There is no infrastructure support and sensor nodes communicate with each other only when they are in transmission range. To a greater degree than the terminals found in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) for communications, sensor nodes are resource-constrained, with limited computational processing, bandwidth, memory, and power, and are typically unattended once in operation. Consequently, the level of information exchange among nodes, to support any complex adaptive algorithms to establish network connectivity and optimize throughput, not only deplete those limited resources and creates high overhead in narrowband communications, but also increase network vulnerability to eavesdropping by malicious nodes. Cooperation among nodes, critical to the mission of sensor networks, can thus be disrupted by the inappropriate choice of the method for self-organization.
Recent published contributions to the self-configuration of ad hoc sensor networks, e.g., self-organizing mapping and swarm intelligence techniques, have been based on the adaptive control of the cross-layer interactions found in MANET protocols to achieve one or more performance objectives: connectivity, intrusion resistance, power control, throughput, and delay. However, few studies have examined the performance of these algorithms when implemented
with the limited resources of WSNs.
In this paper, self-organization algorithms for the initiation, operation and maintenance of a network topology from a collection of wireless sensor nodes are proposed that improve the performance metrics significant to WSNs. The intelligent algorithm approach emphasizes low computational complexity, energy efficiency and robust adaptation to change, allowing distributed implementation with the actual limited resources of the cooperative nodes of the network. Extensions of the algorithms from flat topologies to two-tier hierarchies of sensor nodes are presented. Results from a
few simulations of the proposed algorithms are compared to the published results of other approaches to sensor network self-organization in common scenarios. The estimated network lifetime and extent under static resource allocations are computed.