Abstract: Maximizing the lifetime of a Wireless Sensor Networks is an NP hard combinatorial optimization problem. Such problems can not be solved within polynomially bounded time. A near optimal solution can be obtained in a relatively short time by applying heuristics. Ant Colony Optimization which is a meta heuristic inspired from the behaviour of real ant colonies is applied here to find an optimal routing path and hence to increase the network lifetime. The proposed protocol finds the path to transmit the data based on the energy remained in the sensor nodes and the number of hops required to reach the node. The performance of the protocol is compared with the existing Ad hoc on demand Distance Vector routing protocol and Self Healing Routing Protocols for Wireless Sensor Network in terms of energy consumption, average delay, packet delivery ratio and packet drop.

Keywords: Ant Colony Optimization, Residual Energy, Transmission Range, Wireless Sensor Network.