Document Type


Publication Title

IEEE Access

Publication Date



Ant colony algorithm, energy consumption balancing, cooperative communications, underwater acoustic networks


For a given source-destination pair in multi-hop underwater acoustic sensor networks (UASNs), an optimal route is the one with the lowest energy consumptions that usually consists of the same relay nodes even under different transmission tasks. However, this will lead to the unbalanced payload of the relay nodes in the multi-hop UASNs and accelerate the loss of the working ability for the entire system. In this paper, we propose a node payload balanced ant colony optimal cooperative routing (PB-ACR) protocol for multi-hop UASNs, through combining the ant colony algorithm and cooperative transmission. The proposed PB-ACR protocol is a relay node energy consumption balanced scheme, which considers both data priority and residual energy of each relay node, aiming to reduce the occurrence of energy holes and thereby prolong the lifetime of the entire UASNs. We compare the proposed PB-ACR protocol with the existing ant colony algorithm routing (ACAR) protocol to verify its performances in multi-hop UASNs, in terms of network throughput, energy consumption, and algorithm complexity. The simulation results show that the proposed PB-ACR protocol can effectively balance the energy consumption of underwater sensor nodes and hence prolong the network lifetime.

Funding Source

This work was supported in part by the Basic Research Program of Science and Technology of Shenzhen, China, under Grant JCYJ20190809161805508, in part by the National Key Research and Development Program of China under Grant 2016YFC1400200, in part by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China under Grant 20720200092, and in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 41476026, Grant 41976178, and Grant 61801139.


First published in IEEE Access volume 9 (2021): 57165 - 57178, DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3072283

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see