Energy-Efficient Semi-Flocking Control of Mobile Sensor Networks on Rough Terrains

Wanmai Yuan, Nuwan Ganganath, Chi Tsun Cheng, Shahrokh Valaee, Qing Guo, Francis C.M. Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Mobile sensor networks (MSNs) with semi-flocking control protocols have demonstrated promising performances in both area coverage and target tracking. However, they may not operate at their highest efficiencies due to poor utilization of local information and deficient motion coordinations among mobile nodes. In this brief, a distributed semi-flocking control protocol based on local information exchanges is proposed to address the above issues in MSNs. Most existing semi-flocking control protocols are designed for patrolling in flat terrains and maneuvering nodes using shortest paths between two points on the given terrains. Such assumptions and the corresponding decisions do not apply well on real-world rough terrains and they often impose extra energy expenditure to mobile nodes. To address this problem, a terrain adaptation force and a navigation goal selection method are integrated into the proposed control protocol. Our study on rough terrains illustrates that the proposed control protocol is capable of achieving better performances in both area coverage and target tracking with lower energy expenditure when compared to the state-of-the-art flocking-based control protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8405545
Pages (from-to)622-626
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • distributed control
  • energy-efficient
  • mobile sensor networks
  • rough terrains
  • Semi-flocking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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