Optimizing lifetime for continuous data aggregation with precision guarantees in wireless sensor networks

Xueyan Tang*, Jianliang Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


This paper exploits the tradeoff between data quality and energy consumption to extend the lifetime of wireless sensor networks. To obtain an aggregate form of sensor data with precision guarantees, the precision constraint is partitioned and allocated to individual sensor nodes in a coordinated fashion. Our key idea is to differentiate the precisions of data collected from different sensor nodes to balance their energy consumption. Three factors affecting the lifetime of sensor nodes are identified: 1) the changing pattern of sensor readings; 2) the residual energy of sensor nodes; and 3) the communication cost between the sensor nodes and the base station. We analyze the optimal precision allocation in terms of network lifetime and propose an adaptive scheme that dynamically adjusts the precision constraints at the sensor nodes. The adaptive scheme also takes into consideration the topological relations among sensor nodes and the effect of in-network aggregation. Experimental results using real data traces show that the proposed scheme significantly improves network lifetime compared to existing methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-917
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

User-Defined Keywords

  • Data accuracy
  • Data aggregation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Network lifetime
  • Sensor network


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