Collision-Free Motion Algorithms for Sensors Automated Deployment to Enable a Smart Environmental Sensing-Net

Ting Yu Lin*, Kun Ru Wu, You Shuo Chen, Yan Syun Shen


研究成果: Article同行評審

3 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


As natural habitats protection has become a global priority, smart sensing-nets are ever-increasingly needed for effective environmental observation. In a practical monitoring network, it is critical to deploy sensors with sufficient automated intelligence and motion flexibility. Recent advances in robotics and sensors technology have enabled automated mobile sensors deployment in a smart sensing-net. Existing deployment algorithms can be employed to calculate adequate destinations (goals) for sensors to perform respective monitoring tasks. However, given the calculated goal positions, the problem of how to actually coordinate a fleet of robots and schedule moving paths from random initials to reach their goals safely, without collisions, remains largely unaddressed in the wireless sensor networking (WSN) literature. In this paper, we investigate this problem and propose polynomial-time collision-free motion algorithms based on batched movements to ensure all the mobile sensors reach their goals successfully without incurring collisions. We observe that the grouping (batching) strategy is similar to the coloring procedure in graph theory. By constructing a conflict graph, we model the collision-free path scheduling as the well-known k-coloring problem, from which we reduce to our k-batching problem (determining the minimum number of required batches for a successful deployment) and prove its NP completeness. Since the k-batching problem is intractable, we develop CFMA (collision-free motion algorithm), a simple yet effective batching (coloring) heuristic mechanism, to approximate the optimal solution. Performance results show that our motion algorithms outperform other existing path-scheduling mechanisms by producing 100% sensors reachability (success probability of goals reaching), time-bounded deployment latency with low computation complexity, and reduced energy consumption. Note to Practitioners - This research was originally motivated by an oceanography project, which studied marine microbes by sending a team of tiny robots (sensors) randomly scattered on the ocean floor. For hard-to-access habitats like deserts or oceans, where manual placement of sensors is costly or impossible, automatically scheduling robots movements to calculated positions from random initials is essential for an effective monitoring. Our contribution is unique in two ways. First, traditional path-planning research focuses more on independent robots navigating the environment, whereas we target on the network automation problem, coordinating a fleet of robots working together to perform an environmental sensing task. Second, we observe that existing movement methods are too complicated and energy-consuming due to the calculation on-the-go nature. To provide a practical solution, we suggest and design our motion algorithms from a new perspective: pre-scheduled batched movements. Our approach requires a central server for grouping (batching) calculations, but can effectively reduce computation complexity and save significant energy expenditure exerted on resource-limited sensors. The proposed collision-free motion algorithm (CFMA) is a suboptimal yet efficient batching solution, which can be easily applied in real-life open-space monitoring networks. Insights from this foundational research will facilitate future opportunities to implement and verify our method in operational monitoring testbeds.

頁(從 - 到)3853-3870
期刊IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
出版狀態Published - 1 10月 2022


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