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Data aggregation protocols can reduce the communication cost, thereby extending the lifetime of sensor networks. Prior works on data aggregation protocols have focused on tree-based or cluster-based structured approaches. Although structured approaches are suited for data gathering applications, they incur high maintenance overhead in dynamic scenarios for event-based applications. The goal of our work is to design techniques and protocols that lead to efficient data aggregation without explicit maintenance of a structure. As packets need to converge spatially and temporally for data aggregation, we propose two corresponding mechanisms—Data-Aware Anycast at the MAC layer and Randomized Waiting at the application layer. We model the performance of the combined protocol that uses both the approaches and show that our analysis matches with the simulations. Using extensive simulations and experiments on a testbed with implementation in TinyOS, we study the performance and potential of structure-free data aggregation.
Anycasting, data aggregation, sensor networks, structure-free.

S. Liu, K. Fan and P. Sinha, "Structure-Free Data Aggregation in Sensor Networks," in IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 6, no. , pp. 929-942, 2007.
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