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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Automatic Decentralized Clustering for Wireless Sensor Networks

EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20052005:248089

  • Received: 6 June 2004
  • Published:


We propose a decentralized algorithm for organizing an ad hoc sensor network into clusters. Each sensor uses a random waiting timer and local criteria to determine whether to form a new cluster or to join a current cluster. The algorithm operates without a centralized controller, it operates asynchronously, and does not require that the location of the sensors be known a priori. Simplified models are used to estimate the number of clusters formed, and the energy requirements of the algorithm are investigated. The performance of the algorithm is described analytically and via simulation.


  • wireless sensor networks
  • clustering algorithm
  • random waiting timer

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1415 Engineering Drive, WI 53706-1691, USA


© C.-Y. Wen and W.A. Sethares 2005

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.