Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Computer Science and Engineering

Major Professor

Miguel A. Labrador, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rafael Perez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kenneth Christensen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Wilfrido Moreno, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William R. Stark, Ph.D.


Network Topology, Topology Construction, Topology Maintenance, Connectivity, Sensing Coverage, Connected Dominating Set


Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) offer a flexible low-cost solution to the problem of event monitoring, especially in places with limited accessibility or that represent danger to humans. WSNs are made of resource-constrained wireless devices, which require energy efficient mechanisms, algorithms and protocols. One of these mechanisms is Topology Control (TC) composed of two mechanisms, Topology Construction and Topology Maintenance.

This dissertation expands the knowledge of TC in many ways. First, it introduces a comprehensive taxonomy for topology construction and maintenance algorithms for the first time. Second, it includes four new topology construction protocols: A3, A3Lite, A3Cov and A3LiteCov. These protocols reduce the number of active nodes by building a Connected Dominating Set (CDS) and then turning off unnecessary nodes. The A3 and A3-Lite protocols guarantee a connected reduced structure in a very energy efficient manner. The A3Cov and A3LiteCov protocols are extensions of their predecessors that increase the sensing coverage of the network. All these protocols are distributed -they do not require localization information, and present low message and computational complexity. Third, this dissertation also includes and evaluates the performance of four topology maintenance protocols: Recreation (DGTRec), Rotation (SGTRot), Rotation and Recreation (HGTRotRec), and Dynamic Local-DSR (DLDSR).

Finally, an event-driven simulation tool named Atarraya was developed for teaching, researching and evaluating topology control protocols, which fills a need in the area of topology control that other simulators cannot. Atarraya was used to implement all the topology construction and maintenance cited, and to evaluate their performance. The results show that A3Lite produces a similar number of active nodes when compared to A3, while spending less energy due to its lower message complexity. A3Cov and A3CovLite show better or similar coverage than the other distributed protocols discussed here, while preserving the connectivity and energy efficiency from A3 and A3Lite. In terms of network lifetime, depending on the scenarios, it is shown that there can be a substantial increase in the network lifetime of 450% when a topology construction method is applied, and of 3200% when both topology construction and maintenance are applied, compared to the case where no topology control is used.