Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 December 2014
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) exhibit an “autocratic” operational policy with minimal human intervention. So, such networks must be self-configurable to maintain their autonomy. The requisitions of WSN-specific applications are quenched by temporal cooperation and coordination among the sensor nodes. Naturally, these nodes are expected to perpetuate a healthy intra-network infrastructure. However, they are power constrained with a bounded communication range and low computational ability. Hence, issues related to network infrastructure should be dynamically handled with efficacy.
Topology is a vital aspect of WSNs that needs attention for both network and fault management. In this chapter, we focus on two aspects of topology: (a) topology management, and (b) topology control.
Topology management is the process of deriving a simple graph of node connectivity by determining the inter-nodal links and virtual relationships for efficient operations within a network contour. Topology management aims at conserving the energy of the nodes and consequently extending the lifetime of the network with parallel maintenance of network connectivity.
Topology control of a WSN is a measure of the degree of network coverage and internode connectivity. Topology management and control might appear analogous. However, these two aspects are distinct, and so is their categorization, which we will discuss in this chapter.