Most of the cluster-based routing protocols for wireless sensor networks (WSNs) use dynamic clustering approach, in which the clusters need to be reconstructed while the cluster heads are reselected after a number of rounds. This reconstruction procedure consumes a significant amount of extra energy due to the frequent exchange of control messages. In this study, we propose a hierarchical routing protocol for WSNs using static cluster construction with dynamic cluster-head selection. In the proposed protocol, called Hierarchical Hexagonal Clustering Mechanism (HHCM), the monitored region is tessellated by regular hexagons of the same size, and the sensors in each hexagon region are identified to form the first level clusters. In order to balance energy consumption, the cluster head of each cluster is selected according to the amount of current residual energy of the sensors in the cluster. The same approach is applied to the other higher levels of super-clusters, in which each super-cluster composes of seven lower level identical hexagons to form a hexagon-like region (a Gosper island). Extensive simulation shows that HHCM is effective in saving energy and therefore significantly prolongs the network life time.
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