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The authors investigate the problem of uneven energy consumption in large-scale many-to-one sensor networks (modeled as concentric coronas) with constant data reporting, which is known as an energy hole around the sink. They conclude that lifetime maximization and the energy hole problem can be solved by searching optimal transmission range for the sensors in each corona and then prove this is an NP-hard optimization problem. In view of the effectiveness of ant colony algorithms in solving combinatorial optimization problems, they propose an Ant-based algorithm for Searching Transmission Range List (ASTRL) to address the optimal transmission range assignment for the goal of achieving life maximization of sensor networks. Experimentation shows that the performance of ASTRL is very close to the optimal results obtained from exhaustive search method.
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