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Sparse Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are emerging as an effective solution for a wide range of applications, especially for environmental monitoring. In many scenarios, a moderate number of sparsely deployed nodes can be sufficient to get the required information about the sensed phenomenon. To this end, special mobile elements, i.e. Mobile Data Collectors (MDCs), can be used to get data sampled by sensor nodes. In this paper, the authors present an analytical evaluation of the data collection performance in sparse WSNs with MDCs. The main contribution is the definition of a flexible model which can derive the total energy consumption for each message correctly transferred by sensors to the MDC.
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