Value of information and mobility constraints for sampling with mobile sensors

D.E. Ballari, S. de Bruin, A.K. Bregt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) play a vital role in environmental monitoring. Advances in mobile sensors offer new opportunities to improve phenomenon predictions by adapting spatial sampling to local variability. Two issues are relevant: which location should be sampled and which mobile sensor should move to do it? This paper proposes a form of adaptive sampling by mobile sensors according to the expected value of information (EVoI) and mobility constraints. EVoI allows decisions to be made about the location to observe. It minimises the expected costs of wrong predictions about a phenomenon using a spatially aggregated EVoI criterion. Mobility constraints allow decisions to be made about which sensor to move. A cost-distance criterion is used to minimise unwanted effects of sensor mobility on the WSN itself, such as energy depletion. We implemented our approach using a synthetic data set, representing a typical monitoring scenario with heterogeneous mobile sensors. To assess the method, it was compared with a random selection of sample locations. The results demonstrate that EVoI enables selecting the most informative locations, while mobility constraints provide the needed context for sensor selection. This paper therefore provides insights about how sensor mobility can be efficiently managed to improve knowledge about a monitored phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-111
JournalComputers and Geosciences
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • networks
  • management
  • optimization
  • algorithms
  • strategies
  • tracking
  • fitness
  • design


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