In the wireless sensor network, the lifetime of the network can be prolonged by improving the efficiency of limited energy. Existing works achieve better energy utilization, either through node scheduling or routing optimization. In this paper, an efficient solution combining node scheduling with routing protocol optimization is proposed in order to improve the network lifetime. Firstly, to avoid the redundant coverage, a node scheduling scheme that is based on a genetic algorithm is proposed to find the minimum number of sensor nodes to monitor all target points. Subsequently, the algorithm prolongs the lifetime of the network through choosing redundant sleep nodes to replace the dead node. Based on the obtained minimum coverage set, a new routing protocol, named Improved-Distributed Energy-Efficient Clustering (I-DEEC), is proposed. When considering the energy and the distance of the sensor node to the sink, a new policy choosing the cluster head is proposed. To make the energy load more balanced, uneven clusters are constructed. Meanwhile, the data communication way of sensor nodes around the sink is also optimized. The simulation results show that the proposed sensor node scheduling algorithm can reduce the number of redundant sensor nodes, while the I-DEEC routing protocol can improve the energy efficiency of data transmission. The lifetime of the network is greatly extended.
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