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Explicit solutions for some simple decentralized detection problems

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2 Author(s)
Polychronopoulos, George ; Lab. for Inf. & Decision Syst., MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA ; Tsitsiklis, J.N.

A decentralized detection problem is considered in which a number of identical sensors transmit a finite-valued function of their observations to a fusion center which makes a final decision on one of M alternative hypotheses. The authors consider the case in which the number of sensors is large, and they derive (asymptotically) optimal rules for determining the messages of the sensors when the observations are generated from a simple and symmetrical set of discrete distributions. They also consider the tradeoff between the number of sensors and the communication rate of each sensor when there is a constraint on the total communication rate from the sensors to the fusion center. The results suggest that it is preferable to have several independent sensors transmitting low-rate (coarse) information instead of a few sensors transmitting high-rate (very detailed) information. They also suggest that an M-ary hypothesis testing problem can be viewed as a collection of M(M-1)/2 binary hypothesis testing problems. From this point of view the most useful messages (decision rules) are those that provide information to the fusion center that is relevant to the largest possible numbers of these binary hypothesis testing problems

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 2 )