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In the last decade, the realization of small, inexpensive, and powerful devices with sensors, computers, and wireless communication has promised the development of massive sized sensor networks with dense deployments over large areas capable of high fidelity situational assessments. However, most management models have been based on centralized control and research has concentrated on methods for passing data from sensor devices to the central controller. Most implementations have been small but, as it is not scalable, this methodology is insufficient for massive deployments. Here, a specific application of a large sensor network for adaptive noise reduction demonstrates a new paradigm where communities of sensor/computer devices assess local conditions and make local decisions from which emerges a global behaviour. This approach obviates many of the problems of centralized control as it is not prone to single point of failure and is more scalable, efficient, robust, and fault tolerant.