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Nomographic functions: Efficient computation in clustered Gaussian sensor networks

: Goldenbaum, M.; Boche, H.; Stanczak, S.


IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications 14 (2015), Nr.4, S.2093-2105
ISSN: 1536-1276
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie BMWi
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
STA 864/3-2
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
Bo 1734/20-1
Fraunhofer HHI ()

In this paper, a clustered wireless sensor network is considered that is modeled as a set of coupled Gaussian multiple-access channels. The objective of the network is not to reconstruct individual sensor readings at designated fusion centers but rather to reliably compute some functions thereof. Our particular attention is on real-valued functions that can be represented as a post-processed sum of pre-processed sensor readings. Such functions are called nomographic functions and their special structure permits the utilization of the interference property of the Gaussian multiple-access channel to reliably compute many linear and nonlinear functions at significantly higher rates than those achievable with standard schemes that combat interference. Motivated by this observation, a computation scheme is proposed that combines a suitable data pre- and post-processing strategy with a nested lattice code designed to protect the sum of pre-processed sensor readings against the channel noise. After analyzing its computation rate performance, it is shown that at the cost of a reduced rate, the scheme can be extended to compute every continuous function of the sensor readings in a finite succession of steps, where in each step a different nomographic function is computed. This demonstrates the fundamental role of nomographic representations.