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The authors explore the following fundamental question - how fast can information be collected from a wireless sensor network? They consider a number of design parameters such as, power control, time and frequency scheduling, and routing. There are essentially two factors that hinder efficient data collection - interference and the half-duplex single-transceiver radios. They show that while power control helps in reducing the number of transmission slots to complete a convergecast under a single frequency channel, scheduling transmissions on different frequency channels is more efficient in mitigating the effects of interference (empirically, 6 channels suffice for most 100-node networks).
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