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Phero-Trail: a Bio-inspired Location Service for Mobile Underwater Sensors


A SEA Swarm (Sensor Equipped Aquatic Swarm) moves as a group with water current and enables 4D (space and time) monitoring of local underwater events such as contaminants and intruders. For prompt alert reporting, mobile sensors forward events to mobile sinks (i.e., autonomous underwater vehicles) via geographic routing, thus requiring a location service. In this paper, we analyze various design choices to realize an efficient location service in a SEA Swarm. We find that conventional ad hoc network location service protocols cannot be directly used, because the entire swarm moves along water current. We show that maintaining location information in a 2D plane is an optimal design choice. Given this, we propose a bio-inspired location service called a Phero-Trail location service protocol. In Phero-Trail, location information is stored in a 2D upper hull of a SEA Swarm, and a mobile sink uses its trajectory (à la a pheromone trail of ants) projected to the 2D hull to maintain location information. This enables mobile sensors to efficiently locate a mobile sink via an expanding spiral curve search. Our preliminarily results show that Phero-Trail performs better than existing approaches.

Paper: PDF file of paper
Slides: PPT file of slides

Information & Date

The Third ACM International Workshop on UnderWater Networks, WUWNET 2008, San Francisco,CA, September. 2008


Luiz Filipe M. Vieira
Uichin Lee
Mario Gerla