CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (CISD)


College of Engineering and Computing


Wei Li

Committee Member

Michael J. Laszlo

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee


Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are useful in situations where a low-cost network needs to be set up quickly and no fixed network infrastructure exists. Typical applications are for military exercises and emergency rescue operations. Due to the nature of a wireless network, there is no fixed routing or intrusion detection and these tasks must be done by the individual network nodes. The nodes of a WSN are mobile devices and rely on battery power to function. Due the limited power resources available to the devices and the tasks each node must perform, methods to decrease the overall power consumption of WSN nodes are an active research area.

This research investigated using genetic algorithms and graph algorithms to determine a clustering arrangement of wireless nodes that would reduce WSN power consumption and thereby prolong the lifetime of the network. The WSN nodes were partitioned into clusters and a node elected from each cluster to act as a cluster head. The cluster head managed routing tasks for the cluster, thereby reducing the overall WSN power usage. The clustering configuration was determined via genetic algorithm and graph algorithms.

The fitness function for the genetic algorithm was based on the energy used by the nodes. It was found that the genetic algorithm was able to cluster the nodes in a near-optimal configuration for energy efficiency. Chromosome repair was also developed and implemented. Two different repair methods were found to be successful in producing near-optimal solutions and reducing the time to reach the solution versus a standard genetic algorithm. It was also found the repair methods were able to implement gateway nodes and energy balance to further reduce network energy consumption.