Comprehensive Performance Analysis of Localizability in Heterogeneous Cellular Networks

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Virginia Tech


The availability of location estimates of mobile devices (MDs) is vital for several important applications such as law enforcement, disaster management, battlefield operations, vehicular communication, traffic safety, emergency response, and preemption. While global positioning system (GPS) is usually sufficient in outdoor clear sky conditions, its functionality is limited in urban canyons and indoor locations due to the absence of clear line-of-sight between the MD to be localized and a sufficient number of navigation satellites. In such scenarios, the ubiquitous nature of cellular networks makes them a natural choice for localization of MDs. Traditionally, localization in cellular networks has been studied using system level simulations by fixing base station (BS) geometries. However, with the increasing irregularity of the BS locations (especially due to capacity-driven small cell deployments), the system insights obtained by considering simple BS geometries may not carry over to real-world deployments. This necessitates the need to study localization performance under statistical (random) spatial models, which is the main theme of this work.

In this thesis, we use powerful tools from stochastic geometry and point process theory to develop a tractable analytical model to study the localizability (ability to get a location fix) of an MD in single-tier and heterogeneous cellular networks (HetNets). More importantly, we study how availability of information about the location of proximate BSs at the MD impacts localizability. To this end, we derive tractable expressions, bounds, and approximations for the localizability probability of an MD. These expressions depend on several key system parameters, and can be used to infer valuable system insights. Using these expressions, we quantify the gains achieved in localizability of an MD when information about the location of proximate BSs is incorporated in the model. As expected, our results demonstrate that localizability improves with the increase in density of BS deployments.



Stochastic geometry, localization, localizability, cellular network, Poisson point process.