The basic topology desired in data-gathering wireless sensor networks is a spanning tree, since the traffic is mainly in the form of many-to-one flows. Nodes in the network can selfconfigure themselves into such a topology by a two-phase process: a flood initiated by the root node, followed by parent selection by all nodes. We present four localized topology generation mechanisms – earliest-first, randomized, nearest-first, and weighted-randomized parent selection. We also compare the network performance of these mechanisms on the basis of the following metrics: node degree, robustness, channel quality, data aggregation and latency; our study shows how localized selfconfiguration mechanisms can impact the global network behavior.
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