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Mobile elements, which can traverse the deployment area and convey the observed data from static sensor nodes to a base station, have been introduced for energy efficient data collection in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). However, most existing solutions only plan a single path for the mobile element, which may lead to quick energy depletion for the sensor nodes that are far away from the path. In this paper, for data collection in WSNs, the authors study the Multi-Path Planning (MPP) problem for the mobile element to prolong the lifetime of WSNs. Observing the intractability of the problem, two MPP heuristic schemes, namely fixed-K and adaptive-K, are proposed.
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