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This paper proposes a cross-layer optimization framework for the wireless sensor networks. In a wireless sensor network, each sensor makes a local observation of the underlying physical phenomenon and sends a quantized version of the observation to a central location via wireless links. As the sensor observations are often partial and correlated, the network performance is a complicated and nonseparable function of individual data rates at each sensor. In addition, due to the shared nature of wireless medium, nearby transmissions often interfere with each other. Thus, the traditional "Bit-pipe" model for network link capacity no longer holds.
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