A new paper titled "Reliable Networks with Unreliable Sensors" has been published (and presented) at the 12th International Conference on Distributed Computing and Networking (ICDCN 2011) at Bangalore, India.
Abstract. Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) deployed in hostile environments suffer from a high rate of node failure. We investigate the effect of such failure rate on network connectivity. We provide a formal analysis that establishes the relationship between node density, network size, failure probability, and network connectivity. We show that as network size and density increase, the probability of network partitioning becomes arbitrarily small. We show that large networks can maintain connectivity despite a significantly high probability of node failure. We derive mathematical functions that provide lower bounds on network connectivity in WSNs. We compute these functions for some realistic values of node reliability, area covered by the network, and node density, to show that, for instance, networks with over a million nodes can maintain connectivity with a probability exceeding 99% despite node failure probability exceeding 57%.
A preprint of the paper can be access here [pdf].