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The authors consider a huge hierarchical sensor network consisting of millions of sensors arranged in clusters for scalability and cost-performance. They address the problem of how a centralized gateway can estimate the number of sensors affected by a certain event. They propose a scheme for solving this problem in the most efficient way in terms of communication cost, and a complete mathematical analysis of the estimation error. They show that the error of the new scheme is very small even if the number of sensors experiencing an event is several million.
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