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Conference Proceeding

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In this paper, we present methods to detect and recover from sensor failure in dense wireless sensor networks. In order to extend the lifetime of a sensor network while maintaining coverage, a minimal subset of the deployed sensors are kept active while the other sensors can enter a low power sleep state. Several distributed algorithms for coverage have been proposed in the literature. Faults are of particular concern in coverage algorithms since sensors go into a sleep state in order to conserve battery until woken up by active sensors. If these active sensors were to fail, this could lead to lapses in coverage that are unacceptable in critical applications. Also, most algorithms in the literature rely on an active sensor that is about to run out of battery waking up its neighbors to trigger a reshuffle in the network. However, this would not work in the case of unexpected failures since a sensor cannot predict the occurrence of such an event. We present detection and recovery from sensor failure in dense networks. Our algorithms exploit the density in the recovery scheme to improve coverage by 4-12% in the event of random failures. This fault tolerance comes at a small cost to the network lifetime with observed lifetime being reduced by 6-10% in our simulation studies.