Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Daji Qiao


Many sensor networks are deployed for the purpose of covering and monitoring a particular region, and detecting the object of interest in the region. In these applications, coverage is one of the centric problems in sensor networks. Such problem is centered around a basic question: ``How well can the sensors observe the physical world?'' The concept of coverage can be interpreted as a measure of quality of service provided by the sensing function in various ways depending on sensor devices and applications. On the other hand, sensor nodes are usually battery-powered and subject to limitations based on the available battery energy. It is, therefore, critical to design, deploy and operate a wireless sensor network in an energy-efficient manner, while satisfying the coverage requirement.

In order to prolong the lifetime of a sensor network, we explore the notion of connected-k-coverage in sensor networks. It requires the monitored region to be k-covered by a connected component of active sensors, which is less demanding than requiring k-coverage and connectivity among all active sensors simultaneously. We investigate the theoretical foundations about connected-k-coverage and, by using the percolation theorem, we derive the critical conditions for connected-k-coverage for various relations between sensors' sensing radius and communication range. In addition, we derive an effective lower bound on the probability of connected-k-coverage, and propose a simple randomized scheduling algorithm and select proper operational parameters to prolong the lifetime of a large-scale sensor network.

It has been shown that sensors' collaboration (information fusion) can improve object detection performance and area coverage in sensor networks. The sensor coverage problem in this situation is regarded as information coverage. Based on a probabilistic sensing model, we study the object detection problem and develop a novel on-demand framework (decision fusion-based) for collaborative object detection in wireless sensor networks, where inactive sensors can be triggered by nearby active sensors to collaboratively sense and detect the object. By using this framework, we can significantly improve the coverage performance of the sensor networks, while the network power consumption can be reduced. Then, we proceed to study the barrier information coverage problem under the similar assumption that neighboring sensors may collaborate with each other to form a virtual sensor which makes the detection decision based on combined sensed readings. We propose both centralized and distributed schemes to operate a sensor network to information-cover a barrier efficiently.

At last, we propose and study a multi-round sensor deployment strategy based on line-based sensor deployment model, which can use the fewest sensors to cover a barrier. We have an interesting discovery that the optimal two-round sensor deployment strategy yields the same barrier coverage performance as other optimal strategies with more than two rounds. This result is particularly encouraging as it implies that the best barrier coverage performance can be achieved with low extra deployment cost by deploying sensors in two rounds. In addition, two practical solutions are presented to deal with realistic situations when the distribution of a sensor's residence point is not fully known.


Copyright Owner

Guanqun Yang



Date Available


File Format


File Size

145 pages