Published in Viswanathan, R. (1993). Some comments on distributed detection and estimation. Conference Proceedings., International Conference onSystems, Man and Cybernetics, 1993. 'Systems Engineering in the Service of Humans', v. 3 669 - 671. doi: 10.1109/ICSMC.1993.385093 ©1993 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE. This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


In this paper we discuss the question of information and accuracy attainable in distributed processing as compared to central processing. An example is presented where distributed detection suffers zero loss in performance as compared to central detection. In the same example, if the problem considered is one of estimation rather than detection, then it is shown that distributed estimation suffers a loss as compared to central estimation. This shows that the distributed detection and the distributed estimation problems cannot be considered on an equivalent footing. Some comments regarding an accuracy bound in detection problems are also provided.