Energy-Efficient Decision Fusion for Distributed Detection in Wireless Sensor Networks

N. Sriranga, K. G. Nagananda, R. S. Blum, A. Saucan, P. K. Varshney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

27 Scopus citations


This paper proposes an energy-efficient counting rule for distributed detection by ordering sensor transmissions in wireless sensor networks. In the counting rule-based detection in an N-sensor network, the local sensors transmit binary decisions to the fusion center, where the number of all N local-sensor detections are counted and compared to a threshold. In the ordering scheme, sensors transmit their unquantized statistics to the fusion center in a sequential manner; highly informative sensors enjoy higher priority for transmission. When sufficient evidence is collected at the fusion center for decision making, the transmissions from the sensors are stopped. The ordering scheme achieves the same error probability as the optimum unconstrained energy approach (which requires observations from all the N sensors) with far fewer sensor transmissions. The scheme proposed in this paper improves the energy efficiency of the counting rule detector by ordering the sensor transmissions: Each sensor transmits at a time inversely proportional to a function of its observation. The resulting scheme combines the advantages offered by the counting rule (efficient utilization of the network's communication bandwidth, since the local decisions are transmitted in binary form to the fusion center) and ordering sensor transmissions (bandwidth efficiency, since the fusion center need not wait for all the N sensors to transmit their local decisions), thereby leading to significant energy savings. As a concrete example, the problem of target detection in large-scale wireless sensor networks is considered. Under certain conditions the ordering-based counting rule scheme achieves the same detection performance as that of the original counting rule detector with fewer than N/2 sensor transmissions; in some cases, the savings in transmission approaches (N-1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 21st International Conference on Information Fusion, FUSION 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780996452762
StatePublished - Sep 5 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event21st International Conference on Information Fusion, FUSION 2018 - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 10 2018Jul 13 2018

Publication series

Name2018 21st International Conference on Information Fusion, FUSION 2018


Other21st International Conference on Information Fusion, FUSION 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Distributed detection
  • counting rule
  • energy-efficiency
  • ordering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Signal Processing
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Instrumentation


Dive into the research topics of 'Energy-Efficient Decision Fusion for Distributed Detection in Wireless Sensor Networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this