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A new addressing protocol, TTDA (two-tier dynamic addressing protocol), is proposed for cluster-based wireless sensor networks in this paper. Two-tier address assignment is adopted in TTDA, in which the sink node assigns addresses for the cluster heads using Huffman coding to reduce energy consumption by allocating shorter addresses for nodes far from sink, and the cluster head nodes assign addresses for their cluster members. The address assignment is lease-based and would expire after a certain time so the address could be reused if a node fails. Address reservation and real-time address assignment are also taken into account. TTDA has high flexibility to satisfy needs both in MAC protocol and network-layer protocol. The mathematic analysis and simulation show that TTDA performs better in some key performances, such as control message overhead, energy consumption in address transmission, success ratio of addressing, than existing protocols.