Searching for a sink and determining routing paths are challenging tasks in a mobile sink environment, especially in a location-free environment. Updating the sink location frequently by transmitting messages to preserve a route greatly increases the energy consumption of sensors. Therefore, methods to lower updating costs should be investigated. In this study, a cluster-based mobile sink exploration (CMSE) scheme is developed to guide data packets efficiently to mobile sinks. In this scheme, a source node can identify the sink location without knowledge of node locations, and multiple routing paths are established from a sensor to the sink to enhance network longevity. Simulation results show that compared with the use of previous methods, using the CMSE scheme helps save more energy and increases network longevity under various scenarios.
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