This paper investigates and compares the performance of wireless sensor networks where sensors operate on the principles of cooperative communications. We consider a scenario where the source transmits signals to the destination with the help of L sensors. As the destination has the capacity of processing only U out of these L signals, the strongest U signals are selected while the remaining (L?U) signals are suppressed. A preprocessing block similar to channel-shortening is proposed in this contribution. However, this preprocessing block employs a rank-reduction technique instead of channel-shortening. By employing this preprocessing, we are able to decrease the computational complexity of the system without affecting the bit error rate (BER) performance. From our simulations, it can be shown that these schemes outperform the channel-shortening schemes in terms of computational complexity. In addition, the proposed schemes have a superior BER performance as compared to channel-shortening schemes when sensors employ fixed gain amplification. However, for sensors which employ variable gain amplification, a tradeoff exists in terms of BER performance between the channel-shortening and these schemes. These schemes outperform channel-shortening scheme for lower signal-to-noise ratio.