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In this paper, the authors propose a novel approach for data gathering in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) based on distributed rateless codes. Rateless codes are an efficient, low-complexity solution for coded data transmission over erasure channels, which motivate their application in distributed network scenarios such as WSN. Recently proposed distributed rateless coding techniques for WSN are node-centric, i.e., the task of collecting sufficient number of different sensor data packets and performing rateless encoding is responsibility of sensor nodes. In the proposed packet-centric approach, this task is assigned to encoded data packets called rateless packets. While randomly moving through the network, rateless packets collect required number of uniformly sampled sensor data packets, finishing their paths in randomly selected network nodes.
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