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In a significant class of sensor-network applications, the identities of the reporting sensors constitute the bulk of the communicated data, whereas the message itself can be as small as a single bit - for instance, in many cases, sensors are used to detect whether and where a certain interesting condition occured, or to track incremental environmental changes at fixed locations. In such scenarios, the traditional network-protocol paradigm of separately specifying the source identity and the message in distinct fields leads to inefficient communication. This work addresses the question of how should communication happen in such identity-aware sensor networks. We reexamine the traditional source-identity/message separation and propose a scheme for jointly encoding the two. We use this to develop a communication method for identity-aware sensor networks and show it to be energy efficient, simple to implement, and gracefully adaptable to scenarios frequently encountered in sensor networks - for instance, node failures, or large numbers of nodes where only few are active during each reporting round.
INFOCOM 2009, IEEE
Date of Conference: 19-25 April 2009