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Wireless sensor networks (WSN) have been considered as a promising method for reliably monitoring both civil and military environments under hazardous or dangerous conditions. Due to such environments, the power supplies for sensors in the network are not usually rechargeable or replaceable. Therefore, the energy efficiency is critical for the lifetime and cost of WSN. Numerous mechanisms have been proposed to reduce the impact of communication protocols on the overall energy dissipation of WSN. The low-energy adaptive clustering hierarchy (LEACH) deploys randomized rotation of cluster-heads to evenly distribute the energy load among all sensors in a WSN. This paper proposes an improved LEACH algorithm called partition-based LEACH (pLEACH), which firstly partitions the network into optimal number of sectors, and then selects the node with the highest energy as the head for each sector, using the centralized calculations. The simulation results and analysis show that pLEACH could achieve much better performance of WSN in terms of the energy dissipation and network lifetime.