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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Censored Distributed Space-Time Coding for Wireless Sensor Networks

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20072008:127689

  • Received: 22 April 2007
  • Accepted: 3 August 2007
  • Published:


We consider the application of distributed space-time coding in wireless sensor networks (WSNs). In particular, sensors use a common noncoherent distributed space-time block code (DSTBC) to forward their local decisions to the fusion center (FC) which makes the final decision. We show that the performance of distributed space-time coding is negatively affected by erroneous sensor decisions caused by observation noise. To overcome this problem of error propagation, we introduce censored distributed space-time coding where only reliable decisions are forwarded to the FC. The optimum noncoherent maximum-likelihood and a low-complexity, suboptimum generalized likelihood ratio test (GLRT) FC decision rules are derived and the performance of the GLRT decision rule is analyzed. Based on this performance analysis we derive a gradient algorithm for optimization of the local decision/censoring threshold. Numerical and simulation results show the effectiveness of the proposed censoring scheme making distributed space-time coding a prime candidate for signaling in WSNs.


  • Wireless Sensor Network
  • Decision Rule
  • Error Propagation
  • Local Decision
  • Block Code

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Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of British Columbia, 2356 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z4


© S. Yiu and R. Schober. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.