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Validating an integer non-linear program optimization model of a wireless sensor network using agent-based simulation

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Deploying wireless sensor networks (WSN) along a barrier line to provide surveillance against illegal intruders is a fundamental sensor-allocation problem. To maximize the detection probability of intruders with a limited number of sensors, we propose an integer non-linear program optimization model which considers multiple types of sensors and targets, probabilistic detection functions and sensor-reliability issues. An agent-based simulation (ABS) model is used to validate the analytic results and evaluate the performance of the WSN under more realistic conditions, such as intruders moving along random paths. Our experiment shows that the results from the optimization model are consistent with the results from the ABS model. This increases our confidence in the ABS model and allows us to conduct a further experiment using moving intruders, which is more realistic, but it is challenging to find an analytic solution. This experiment shows the complementary benefits of using optimization and ABS models.