Data gathering is a major function of many applications in wireless sensor networks. The most important issue in designing a data gathering algorithm is how to save energy of sensor nodes while meeting the requirements of special applications or users. Wireless sensor networks are characterized by centralized data gathering, multi-hop communication and many to one traffic pattern. These three characteristics can lead to severe packet collision, network congestion and packet loss, and even result in hot-spots of energy consumption thus causing premature death of sensor nodes and entire network. In this paper, we propose a load balance data gathering algorithm that classifies sensor nodes into different layers according to their distance to sink node and furthermore, divides the sense zone into several clusters. Routing trees are established between sensor node and sink depending on the energy metric and communication cost. For saving energy consumption, the target of data aggregation scheme is adopted as well. Analysis and simulation results show that the algorithm we proposed provides more uniform energy consumption among sensor nodes and can prolong the lifetime of sensor networks.
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