Optimal Cluster Sizes for Wireless Sensor Networks: An Experimental Analysis

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Executive Summary

Node clustering and data aggregation are popular techniques to reduce energy consumption in large WSNs and a large body of literature has emerged describing various clustering protocols. Unfortunately, for practitioners wishing to exploit clustering in deployments, there is little help when trying to identify a protocol that meets their needs. This paper takes a step back from specific protocols to consider the fundamental question: what is the optimal cluster size in terms of the resulting communication generated to collect data. The authors' experimental analysis considers a wide range of parameters that characterize the WSN, and shows that in the most common cases, clusters in which all nodes can communicate in one hop to the cluster head are optimal.

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