MERA: A Micro-Economic Routing Algorithm for Wireless Sensor Networks.

J. Esquivel-Gomez, R. Balderas-Navarro, E. Stevens-Navarro, and J. Acosta-Elias.
IEICE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATIONS, Vol. E85B, Issue: 8, Pages: 2642-2645 DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E95.B.2642 (AUG 2012)., 2012.


One of the most important constraints in wireless sensor networks (WSN) is that their nodes, in most of the cases, are powered by batteries, which cannot be replaced or recharged easily. In these types of networks, data transmission is one of the processes that consume a lot of energy, and therefore the embedded routing algorithm should consider this issue by establishing optimal routes in order to avoid premature death and eventually having partitioned nodes network. This paper proposes a new routing algorithm for WSN called Micro-Economic Routing Algorithm (MERA), which is based on the microeconomic model of supply-demand. In such algorithm each node comprising the network fixes a cost for relay messages according to their residual battery energy; and before sending information to the base station, the node searches for the most economical route. In order to test the performance of MERA, we varied the initial conditions of the system such as the network size and the number of defined thresholds. This was done in order to measure the time span for which the first node dies and the number of information messages received by the base station. Using the NS-2 simulator, we compared the performance of MERA against the Conditional Minimum Drain Rate (CMDR) algorithm reported in the literature. An optimal threshold value for the residual battery is estimated to be close to 20%.