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Wireless sensor networks can play an important role in detecting disasters and navigating the personnel out of dangerous areas. In emergency navigation applications, personal safety and evacuation time of human beings are commonly considered criteria. Consequently, existing works mainly focus on finding the shortest safe path for each person. However, in practice, the number of people may be much larger than the safety capacities of the computed evacuation paths. This may lead to congestion on the evacuation paths, and result in longer evacuation time and even casualty increment. In this paper, the authors model the problem of emergency navigation as a network flow scheduling problem and present a distributed algorithm, namely SOS, to solve it.
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