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Ambient Data Collection with Wireless Sensor Networks


One of the most important applications for wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is Data Collection, where sensing data are collected at sensor nodes and forwarded to a central base station for further processing. Since using battery powers and wireless communications, sensor nodes can be very small and easily attached at specified locations without disturbing surrounding environments. This makes WSN a competitive approach for data collection comparing with its wired counterpart. In this paper, we review recent advances in this research area. We first highlight the special features of data collection WSNs, by comparing with wired data collection network and other WSN applications. With these features in mind, we then discuss issues and prior solutions on the data gathering protocol design. Our discussion also covers different approaches for message dissemination, which is a critical component for network control and management and greatly affects the overall performance of a data collection WSN system.

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Correspondence to Feng Wang.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Wang, F., Liu, J. & Sun, L. Ambient Data Collection with Wireless Sensor Networks. J Wireless Com Network 2010, 698951 (2010).

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  • Sensor Node
  • Wireless Sensor Network
  • Wireless Communication
  • Network Control
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