Preferential Field Coverage Through Detour-Based Mobility Coordination
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Citation (published version)Morcos, Hany; Bestavros, Azer; Matta, Ibrahim. "Preferential Field Coverage Through Detour-Based Mobility Coordination", Technical Report BUCS-TR-2009-010, Computer Science Department, Boston University, March 30, 2009. [Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/1734]
Controlling the mobility pattern of mobile nodes (e.g., robots) to monitor a given field is a well-studied problem in sensor networks. In this setup, absolute control over the nodes’ mobility is assumed. Apart from the physical ones, no other constraints are imposed on planning mobility of these nodes. In this paper, we address a more general version of the problem. Specifically, we consider a setting in which mobility of each node is externally constrained by a schedule consisting of a list of locations that the node must visit at particular times. Typically, such schedules exhibit some level of slack, which could be leveraged to achieve a specific coverage distribution of a field. Such a distribution defines the relative importance of different field locations. We define the Constrained Mobility Coordination problem for Preferential Coverage (CMC-PC) as follows: given a field with a desired monitoring distribution, and a number of nodes n, each with its own schedule, we need to coordinate the mobility of the nodes in order to achieve the following two goals: 1) satisfy the schedules of all nodes, and 2) attain the required coverage of the given field. We show that the CMC-PC problem is NP-complete (by reduction to the Hamiltonian Cycle problem). Then we propose TFM, a distributed heuristic to achieve field coverage that is as close as possible to the required coverage distribution. We verify the premise of TFM using extensive simulations, as well as taxi logs from a major metropolitan area. We compare TFM to the random mobility strategy—the latter provides a lower bound on performance. Our results show that TFM is very successful in matching the required field coverage distribution, and that it provides, at least, two-fold query success ratio for queries that follow the target coverage distribution of the field.