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In this paper, the authors study the implication of wireless broadcast for data aggregation in lossy wireless sensor networks. Each sensor node generates information by sensing its physical environment and transmits the information to a special node called the sink, via multi-hop communications. The goal of the network system is to compute a function at the sink from the information gathered by spatially distributed sensor nodes. In the course of collecting information, in-network computation at intermediate forwarding nodes can substantially increase network efficiency by reducing the number of transmissions. On the other hand, it also intensifies the number of the information contained in a single packet and makes the system vulnerable to packet loss.
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