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Wireless sensor networks have been receiving significant attention due to their potential applications in environmental monitoring, surveillance, military operations and other domains. While these applications revealed tremendous potential for capturing important environment phenomenon, they have also posed certain associated limitations. One of the major limitations is that sensor nodes are powered by energy-limited batteries, the sensor lifetime imposes a severe constraint on network performance, so energy conservation in such networks is of paramount importance. As data gathering is one of the fundamental and frequent operations in most sensor networks, the energy gain obtained through the optimization of data gathering operation can help prolong the lifetime of a sensor network substantially.
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