images CHAPTER 21

Information-Theoretic Studies of Wireless Sensor Networks

Liang-Liang Xie1 and P. R. Kumar2

1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

2Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois

21.1 INTRODUCTION

Wireless sensor networking is an emerging technology that has a wide range of potential applications including environment and habitat monitoring, smart spaces, health monitoring, traffic control, and the like. Such a network normally consists of a large number of nodes distributed in space, each of which may be equipped with one or more sensors, a radio transceiver, a microcontroller, and an energy source, usually a battery. In many applications, it is often very difficult to change or recharge batteries for these nodes1. Thus, prolonging the network lifetime by efficiently using the battery energy is a critical issue in the operation of wireless sensor networks. Generally, in sensor networks, wireless communications consume much more energy compared to the other node activities. Developing much more energy-efficient communications schemes will certainly lead to significant energy savings [1].

In many applications of sensor networks, nodes remain largely inactive for a long time but become suddenly active when something ...

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