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Coverage is a very important issue in wireless sensor networks. Current literature defines a point to be covered if it is within the sensing radius of at least one sensor. In this paper we argue that this is a conservative definition of coverage. This definition implicitly assumes that each sensor makes a decision independent of other sensors in the field. However, sensors can cooperate to make an accurate estimation, even if any single sensor is unable to do so. We then propose a new notion of information coverage and investigate its implications for sensor deployment. Numerical and simulation results show that significant savings in terms of sensor density for complete coverage can be achieved by using our definition of information coverage compared to that by using the existing definition.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2005