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This paper examines the accuracy of software-based on-line energy estimation techniques. It evaluates today's most widespread energy estimation model in order to investigate whether the current methodology of pure software-based energy estimation running on a sensor node itself can indeed reliably and accurately determine its energy consumption - independent of the particular node instance, the traffic load the node is exposed to, or the MAC protocol the node is running. The paper enhances today's widely used energy estimation model by integrating radio transceiver switches into the model, and proposes a methodology to find the optimal estimation model parameters. It proves by statistical validation with experimental data that the proposed model enhancement and parameter calibration methodology significantly increases the estimation accuracy.
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