We consider a problem of broadcast communication in sensor networks, in which samples of a random field are collected at each node, and the goal is for all nodes to obtain an estimate of the entire field within a prescribed distortion value. The main idea we explore in this paper is that of jointly compressing the data generated by different nodes as this information travels over multiple hops, to eliminate correlations in the representation of the sampled field. Our main contributions are: (a) we obtain, using simple network flow concepts, conditions on the rate/distortion function of the random field, so as to guarantee that any node can obtain the measurements collected at every other node in the network, quantized to within any prescribed distortion value; and (b) we construct a large class of physically-motivated stochastic models for sensor data, for which we are able to prove that the joint rate/distortion function of all the data generated by the whole network grows slower than the bounds found in (a). A truly novel aspect of our work is the tight coupling between routing and source coding, explicitly formulated in a simple and analytically tractable model - to the best of our knowledge, this connection had not been studied before.
- Cross-layer interactions
- Multi-hop sensor networks
- Source coding
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Information Systems
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering