Mobile Robot Task Allocation in Hybrid Wireless Sensor Networks
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Hybrid sensor networks consisting of both in-expensive static wireless sensors and highly capable mobile robots have the potential to monitor large environments at a low cost. To do so, an algorithm is needed to assign tasks to mobile robots which minimizes communication among the static sensors in order to extend the lifetime of the network. We present three algorithms to solve this task allocation problem: a centralized algorithm, an auction-based algorithm, and a novel distributed algorithm utilizing a spanning tree over the static sensors to assign tasks. We compare the assignment quality and communication costs of these algorithms experimentally. Our experiments show that at a small cost in assignment quality, the distributed tree-based algorithm significantly extends the lifetime of the static sensor network.