This article proposes the minimum power configuration (MPC) approach to power management in wireless sensor networks. In contrast to earlier research that treats different radio states (i.e., transmission/reception/idle) in isolation, MPC integrates them in a joint optimization problem that depends on both the set of active nodes and the transmission power. We propose four approximation algorithms with provable performance bounds and two practical routing protocols. Simulations based on realistic radio models show that the MPC approach can conserve more energy than existing minimum power routing and topology control protocols. Furthermore, it can flexibly adapt to network workload and radio platforms.
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