In most application scenarios of wireless sensor networks (WSN), sensor nodes are usually deployed randomly and do not have any knowledge about the network environment or even their ID's at the initial stage of their operations. In this paper, we address the clustering problems with a newly deployed multi-hop WSN where most existing clustering algorithms can hardly be used due to the absence of MAC link connections among the nodes. We propose an effective clustering algorithm based on a random contention model without the prior knowledge of the network and the ID's of nodes. Computer simulations have been used to show the effectiveness of the algorithm with a relatively low complexity if compared with existing schemes.
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