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Wireless low-power transceivers used in sensor networks such as IEEE 802.15.4 typically operate in unlicensed frequency bands that are subject to external interference from devices transmitting at much higher power. Communication protocols should therefore be designed to be robust against such interference. A critical building block of many protocols at all layers is agreement on a piece of information among a set of nodes. At the MAC layer, nodes may need to agree on a new time slot or frequency channel; at the application layer nodes may need to agree on handing over a leader role from one node to another.
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