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Wireless sensor networks have been widely used for ambient data collection in diverse environments. While in many such networks the sensor nodes are randomly deployed in massive quantity, there is a broad range of applications advocating manual deployment. A typical example is structure health monitoring, where the sensors have to be placed at critical locations to fulfill civil engineering requirements. The raw data collected by the sensors can then be forwarded to a remote base station (the sink) through a series of relay nodes. In the wireless communication context, the operation time of a battery-limited relay node depends on its traffic volume and communication range.
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