Speed Control and Scheduling of Data Mules in Sensor Networks

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Unlike traditional multi-hop forwarding among stationary sensor nodes, use of mobile devices for data collection in wireless sensor networks has recently been gathering more attention. The use of mobility significantly reduces the energy consumption at sensor nodes, elongating the functional lifetime of the network. However, a drawback is an increased data delivery latency. Reducing the latency through optimizing the motion of data mules is critical for this approach to thrive. In this paper, the authors focus on the problem of motion planning, specifically, determination of the speed of the data mule and the scheduling of the communication tasks with the sensors. They consider three models of mobility capability of the data mule to accommodate different types of vehicles.