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The performance of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) is tightly coupled with the geometric environment in which sensors are deployed. In a practical environment, bottleneck regions, for example bridges, may exist due to the existence of physical obstacles or energy depletion. In this paper, the authors propose a Load-balancing Based Optimal Routing Protocol (LORP). By finding the boundaries of holes in a sensor network with bottlenecks, LORP first identifies the bridges in the sensor field using their MACB algorithm. A centralized routing algorithm, "Balance-first" routing is then employed to prolong the lifetime of a WSN with bottlenecks. Theoretical analysis prove that LORP can improve the load distribution among different bridges, increase the lifetime of a WSN, and enhance the quality of network services.
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