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The overlay-based network architecture has been recognized as an effective way to deal with the funneling effect in sensor networks, where sensors closer to the sink are usually responsible for relaying more network traffic. Such funneling effect is particularly harmful when the number of sensors in the network is vast. In an overlay-based sensor network, a special type of resource-rich multi-radio mobile wireless devices (the authors call them syphons) are deployed along with sensors. Syphons form an overlay network and help nearby sensors relay their data to the sink via the overlay network, thus mitigating the funneling effect.
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