Sampling design optimization of a wireless sensor network for monitoring ecohydrological processes in the Babao River basin, China


Optimal selection of observation locations is an essential task in designing an effective ecohydrological process monitoring network, which provides information on ecohydrological variables by capturing their spatial variation and distribution. This article presents a geostatistical method for multivariate sampling design optimization, using a universal cokriging (UCK) model. The approach is illustrated by the design of a wireless sensor network (WSN) for monitoring three ecohydrological variables (land surface temperature, precipitation and soil moisture) in the Babao River basin of China. After removal of spatial trends in the target variables by multiple linear regression, variograms and cross-variograms of regression residuals are fit with the linear model of coregionalization. Using weighted mean UCK variance as the objective function, the optimal sampling design is obtained using a spatially simulated annealing algorithm. The results demonstrate that the UCK model-based sampling method can consider the relationship of target variables and environmental covariates, and spatial auto- and cross-correlation of regression residuals, to obtain the optimal design in geographic space and attribute space simultaneously. Compared with a sampling design without consideration of the multivariate (cross-)correlation and spatial trend, the proposed sampling method reduces prediction error variance. The optimized WSN design is efficient in capturing spatial variation of the target variables and for monitoring ecohydrological processes in the Babao River basin.

International Journal of Geographical Information Science