Skip to Main Content
Data collection is one of the most important functions provided by wireless sensor networks. Here, we study the theoretical limitations of data collection and data aggregation in terms of delay and capacity for a wireless sensor network where n sensors are randomly deployed. We consider two different communication scenarios (with or without aggregation) under physical interference model. For each scenario, we first propose a new collection method and analyze its performance in terms of delay and capacity, then theoretically prove that our method can achieve the optimal order. Particularly, the capacity of data collection is in order of Θ(W) where W is the fixed data-rate on individual links. If each sensor can aggregate its receiving packets into a single packet to send, the capacity of data collection increases to Θ((n/log n) W).