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Given the criticality of energy awareness in wireless networks, it has become essential to devise an improved definition of the network lifetime at the system design stage. The new definition must capture the life profile of the network while accounting for its functionality and specific design parameters. This paper presents the notion of network durability, which captures the spatiotemporal life/death patterns of devices in a wireless network by examining the time evolution of spatial patterns according to which devices are progressively forced to exit the network having exhausted their energy resource. Using network durability, the paper shows how networks can satisfy different levels of monitoring criticality, even when they exhibit the same conventionally defined lifetime.
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