Published in Brooks, R. R., Pirretti, M., Zhu, M., & Iyengar, M. (2003). Distributed adaptation methods for wireless sensor networks. IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference, 2003. GLOBECOM '03, vol.5, 2967 - 2971. doi: 10.1109/GLOCOM.2003.1258778 ©2003 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE. This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


This paper presents distributed adaptation techniques for use in wireless sensor networks. As an example application, we consider data routing by a sensor network in an urban terrain. The adaptation methods are based on ideas from physics, biology, and chemistry. All approaches are emergent behaviors in that: (i) perform global adaptation using only locally available information, (ii) have strong stochastic components, and (iii) use both positive and negative feedback to steer themselves. We analyze the approaches’ ability to adapt, robustness to internal errors, and power consumption. Comparisons to standard wireless communications techniques are given.