Performance analysis and code design for minimum hamming distance fusion in wireless sensor networks

Chien Yao, Po Ning Chen, Tsang Yi Wang, Yunghsiang S. Han, Pramod K. Varshney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Distributed classification fusion using error-correcting codes (DCFECC) has recently been proposed for wireless sensor networks operating in a harsh environment. It has been shown to have a considerably better capability against unexpected sensor faults than the optimal likelihood fusion. In this paper, we analyze the performance of a DCFECC code with minimum Hamming distance fusion. No assumption on identical distribution for local observations, as well as common marginal distribution for the additive noises of the wireless links, is made. In addition, sensors are allowed to employ their own local classification rules. Upper bounds on the probability of error that are valid for any finite number of sensors are derived based on large deviations technique. A necessary and sufficient condition under which the minimum Hamming distance fusion error vanishes as the number of sensors tends to infinity is also established. With the necessary and sufficient condition and the upper error bounds, the relation between the fault-tolerance capability of a DCFECC code and its pair-wise Hamming distances is characterized, and can be used together with any code search criterion in finding the code with the desired fault-tolerance capability. Based on the above results, we further propose a code search criterion of much less complexity than the minimum Hamming distance fusion error criterion adopted earlier by the authors. This makes the code construction with acceptable fault-tolerance capability for a network with over a hundred of sensors practical. Simulation results show that the code determined based on the new criterion of much less complexity performs almost identically to the best code that minimizes the minimum Hamming distance fusion error. Also simulated and discussed are the performance trends of the codes searched based on the new simpler criterion with respect to the network size and the number of hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1716-1734
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Classification
  • Coding
  • Detection
  • Fault tolerance
  • Information fusion
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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