Efficient Data Collection over Multiple Access Wireless Sensors Network

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Data collection in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) draws significant attention, due to emerging interest in technologies ranging from Internet of Things (IoT) networks to simple 'Presence' applications, which identify the status of the devices (active or inactive). Numerous Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols for WSN, which can address the challenge of data collection in dense networks, were suggested over the years. Most of these protocols utilize the traditional layering approach, in which the MAC layer is unaware of the encapsulated packet payload, and therefore there is no connection between the data collected, the physical layer and the signaling mechanisms. Nonetheless, in many of the applications that intend to utilize such protocols, nodes may need to exchange very little information, and do so only sporadically, that is, while the number of devices in the network can be very large, only a subset wishes to transmit at any given time. Thus, a tailored protocol, which matches the signaling, physical layer and access control to traffic patterns is required. In this work, we design and analyze a data collection protocol based on information theoretic principles. In the suggested protocol, the sink collects messages from up to $K$ sensors simultaneously, out of a large population of sensors, without knowing in advance which sensors will transmit, and without requiring any synchronization, coordination or management overhead. In other words, neither the sink nor the other sensors need to know who are the actively transmitting sensors, and this data is decoded directly from the channel output. We provide a simple codebook construction with very simple encoding and decoding procedures. We further design a secure version of the protocol, in which an eavesdropper observing only partial information sent on the channel cannot gain significant information on the messages transmitted or even which are the sources that sent these messages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8978556
Pages (from-to)491-504
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • data collection
  • group testing (GT)
  • medium access control (MAC)
  • wireless sensor networks (WSN)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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