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18 April 2006 Distributed sensor data compression algorithm
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Theoretically it is possible for two sensors to reliably send data at rates smaller than the sum of the necessary data rates for sending the data independently, essentially taking advantage of the correlation of sensor readings to reduce the data rate. In 2001, Caltech researchers Michelle Effros and Qian Zhao developed new techniques for data compression code design for correlated sensor data, which were published in a paper at the 2001 Data Compression Conference (DCC 2001). These techniques take advantage of correlations between two or more closely positioned sensors in a distributed sensor network. Given two signals, X and Y, the X signal is sent using standard data compression. The goal is to design a partition tree for the Y signal. The Y signal is sent using a code based on the partition tree. At the receiving end, if ambiguity arises when using the partition tree to decode the Y signal, the X signal is used to resolve the ambiguity. We have extended this work to increase the efficiency of the code search algorithms. Our results have shown that development of a highly integrated sensor network protocol that takes advantage of a correlation in sensor readings can result in 20-30% sensor data transport cost savings. In contrast, the best possible compression using state-of-the-art compression techniques that did not take into account the correlation of the incoming data signals achieved only 9-10% compression at most. This work was sponsored by MDA, but has very widespread applicability to ad hoc sensor networks, hyperspectral imaging sensors and vehicle health monitoring sensors for space applications.
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Barry Ambrose and Freddie Lin "Distributed sensor data compression algorithm", Proc. SPIE 6242, Multisensor, Multisource Information Fusion: Architectures, Algorithms, and Applications 2006, 62420L (18 April 2006);

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