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There are two kinds of data collection in wireless sensor network: passive and active. We here propose an adaptive, energy-efficient clustering protocol (AEEC) which is applicable to both passive and active data collection. The proposed protocol selects cluster heads according to the rank of node remaining energy and the number of node neighbors. Unlike traditional clustering protocols, it is an adaptive re-clustering protocol. The clustering process can be done in a fixed time, independent of network size. It can achieve uniform distribution of cluster heads. Simulation results show that the performance of AEEC is better than that of LEACH and HEED in prolonging network lifetime.