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In this paper, an adaptive transmission power control method for wireless sensor networks is presented. The minimum transmission power of one node with the neighboring nodes are considered as “distance”. Optimization of the transmission power for the whole wireless sensor networks is therefore converted to a shortest path problem based on the so-called “power distance”. Not only transmission power control is performed, but also topology control of the network is achieved. The solution for the shortest path problem gives the minimum transmission power levels for all nodes and the optimized routing information for the whole network. Measurements show a reduction in transmission power of around 30–40% on average for all the wireless sensor nodes.