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The large-scale deployment of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) and the need for data aggregation necessitate efficient organization of the network topology for the purpose of balancing the load and prolonging the network lifetime. Clustering has proven to be an effective approach for organizing the network into a connected hierarchy. In this article, we highlight the challenges in clustering a WSN, discuss the design rationale of the different clustering approaches, and classify the proposed approaches based on their objectives and design principles. We further discuss several key issues that affect the practical deployment of clustering techniques in sensor network applications.