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The prominent visions of wireless sensor networks that appeared about a decade ago have spurred enormous efforts in research and development of this new class of wireless networked embedded systems. Despite the significant effort made, successful deployments and real-world applications of sensor networks are still scarce, labor-intensive and often cumbersome to achieve. In this paper, the authors survey prominent examples of sensor network deployments, their interaction with the real world and pinpoint a number of potential causes for errors and common pitfalls. In the second half of this paper, they present methods and tools to be used to pinpoint failures and understand root causes.
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