An information theory approach to wireless sensor network design
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We use tools and techniques from information theory to improve the design of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). We do this by first developing a model for WSNs that is analogous to models of communication systems in information theory. In particular, we define the notion of WSN Coding, which is analogous to source coding from information theory, and the Collection Channel, which is analogous to a transport channel in information theory. We then use source coding theorems from information theory to develop three results that aid in WSN design. First, we propose a new top-level design metric for WSNs. Second, we develop an efficiency measure for the sensing process in a WSN. Finally, we use techniques from source coding schemes to suggest new designs for WSNs and the sensors they contain. We strive for tools that apply under the most general conditions possible so that designers can use them in any WSN. However, we also apply each tool to a specific example WSN illustrate the tool's value.