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In this paper, we revisit the problem of fusing decisions transmitted over fading channels in a wireless sensor network. Previous development relies on instantaneous channel state information (CSI). However, acquiring channel information may be too costly for resource constrained sensor networks. In this paper, we propose a new likelihood ratio (LR)-based fusion rule which requires only the knowledge of channel statistics instead of instantaneous CSI. Based on the assumption that all the sensors have the same detection performance and the same channel signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), we show that when the channel SNR is low, this fusion rule reduces to a statistic in the form of an equal gain combiner (EGC), which explains why EGC is a very good choice with low or medium SNR; at high-channel SNR, it is equivalent to the Chair-Varshney fusion rule. Performance evaluation shows that the new fusion rule exhibits only slight performance degradation compared with the optimal LR-based fusion rule using instantaneous CSI.
Date of Publication: March 2006