Energy is an important consideration in the design and deployment of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) since sensor nodes are typically powered by batteries with limited capacity. Since the communication unit on a wireless sensor node is the major power consumer, data compression is one of possible techniques that can help reduce the amount of data exchanged between wireless sensor nodes resulting in power saving. However, wireless sensor networks possess significant limitations in communication, processing, storage, bandwidth, and power. Thus, any data compression scheme proposed for WSNs must be lightweight. In this paper, we present an adaptive lossless data compression (ALDC) algorithm for wireless sensor networks. Our proposed ALDC scheme performs compression losslessly using multiple code options. Adaptive compression schemes allow compression to dynamically adjust to a changing source. The data sequence to be compressed is partitioned into blocks, and the optimal compression scheme is applied for each block. Using various real-world sensor datasets we demonstrate the merits of our proposed compression algorithm in comparison with other recently proposed lossless compression algorithms for WSNs.
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