2020 Virtual undergraduate Research symposium

Relay Node Placement for IOT Networks with Imperfect Communication Ranges


AUTHOR: Ethan Perry, Computer Science | MENTOR: Qi Han, Computer Science



Internet of Things (IOT) networks have become increasingly popular in recent years for applications such as smart cities and buildings. Oftentimes, IOT devices are designed to use little power with battery usage in mind, and these devices are sometimes afflicted with short communication ranges as a result. Accordingly, researchers have developed algorithms which identify ideal placement of relay nodes–nodes which can relay messages and extend the communication ranges of IOT devices–within IOT networks. However, many of these algorithms fail to acknowledge the imperfect nature of wireless communication ranges. Since these devices do not exist in flat, open areas, and rather exist in buildings where concrete walls and metal structures obstruct device communication ranges, many of the algorithms which work in theory fall short in real-world applications. Hence, this research develops a new algorithm which, given an arrangement of IOT devices with imperfect communication ranges, yields the ideal placement of relay nodes in O(n2log(n)) time. Applying this algorithm to a series of computer simulations proved to generate desirable arrangements of relay nodes, and accordingly, the algorithm is now being tested using 25 sensor nodes, composed of small, low-power microcontroller and radio devices.





Ethan Perry is a junior in the department of computer science. He is a member of the Pervasive Computing Systems (PeCS) Research Group, working under the mentorship of Dr. Qi Han and specializing in wireless sensor networks. His research focuses on a novel algorithm used to make modern Internet of Things (IOT) systems more affordable and practical. As the world begins to reconsider the way modern buildings and cities should be designed, he hopes that his work may contribute to this important transformation. In the future, Ethan hopes to continue his research with the PeCS Research Group, and he is excited to expand his knowledge in the area of pervasive computing and wireless sensor networks.



  1. This is a really interesting project! The poster reads more like a paper, but it has good content. I would recommend making your figures bigger and stacking them on top of each other for future posters.

    • Thank you! I appreciate the feedback.

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