Performance Analysis of Distortion-Acceptable Cooperative Communications in Wireless Sensor Networks for Internet of Things

This paper analyzes the performance limit of cooperative communications in wireless sensor networks (WSNs), with the aim of utilizing the analytical results for practical applications, for example, Internet of Things (IoT). The observation of a primary sensor is not necessarily to be reconstructed losslessly, as long as the system can make correct judgements and operations. At first, we perform the theoretical analysis to derive an inner bound on the achievable rate-distortion region for the lossy communications with helpers. The numerical results precisely match the Wyner-Ziv theorem when there is only one assisting link and no rate constraint on the assisting link. Then, we present a distributed encoding and joint decoding scheme for cooperative communications in WSNs. Moreover, a series of simulations are conducted for the performance evaluation and verification. Although there is an obvious gap between the theoretical and simulation results, the performance curves show similar tendencies in terms of the signal-to-noise ratio versus bit error rate.