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Various wireless sensor network applications involve the computation of a pre-defined function of the measurements without the need for reconstructing each individual sensor reading. Widely-considered examples of such functions include the arithmetic mean and the maximum value. Standard approaches to the computation problem separate computation from communication: quantized sensor readings are transmitted interference-free to a fusion center that reconstructs each sensor reading and subsequently computes the sought function value. Such separation-based computation schemes are generally highly inefficient as a complete reconstruction of individual sensor readings is not necessary for the fusion center to compute a function of them.
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