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Power saving is a critical issue in wireless ad hoc networks. Many of the existing energy efficient routing protocols utilize the power management feature provided by MAC layer (e.g., IEEE 802.11 PSM). The rationale behind these protocols is to power down (put in sleep) the redundant nodes that do not involve in the packets routing. To keep a low end-to-end latency and preserve the routing fidelity, a group of nodes are selected to constitute a virtual backbone throughout the network. The backbone nodes do not sleep all the time serving for the packets routing while the rest of nodes turn to sleep mode if there is no packet to send or receive.
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