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Open Access

Ambient Data Collection with Wireless Sensor Networks

EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20102010:698951

Received: 9 February 2010

Accepted: 7 June 2010

Published: 28 June 2010


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.


Sensor NodeWireless Sensor NetworkWireless CommunicationNetwork ControlFull Article

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Authors’ Affiliations

School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada, V5A 1S6
Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China


© Feng Wang et al. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.