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The authors consider information retrieval in a wireless sensor network deployed to monitor a spatially correlated random field. They address optimal sensor scheduling and information routing under the performance measure of network lifetime. Both single-hop and multi-hop transmissions from sensors to an access point are considered. For both cases, the authors formulate the problems as integer programming based on the theories of coverage and connectivity in sensor networks. The authors derive upper bounds for the network lifetime that provide performance benchmarks for suboptimal solutions. Suboptimal sensor scheduling and data routing algorithms are proposed to approach the lifetime upper bounds with reduced complexity.
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