Cooperative Positioning in Wireless Sensor Networks Using Semidefinite Programming

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Virginia Tech


With the rapid development of wireless technologies, the demand for positioning services has grown dramatically over the past three decades. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is widely used in wireless devices for positioning purposes. However, in addition to having bulky and expensive equipment, GPS receivers do not operate properly in dense and indoor environments. Difficulties in using GPS lead us to use sensor localization in which the position information is obtained from the measurements collected within the network without the aid of external resources. Sensor localization has been a great topic of interest during past decades. Although many positioning algorithms have been developed previously in the literature, positioning is still a challenging task. There are many factors that can affect the positioning performance if they are neglected or not treated properly. These factors introduce many nuisance parameters which need to be either estimated or considered when the location is estimated.

In this work, we exploit cooperative localization as a recent and trending technology and semidefinite programming (SDP) as a powerful tool in our research. Cooperative localization has several advantages over the traditional noncooperative localization in terms of positioning accuracy and localizability. Cooperation is also highly beneficial for networks with few anchor nodes and low communication range. On the other hand, SDP provides an alternative solution to the optimal maximum-likelihood (ML) estimation. Unlike in the ML estimator, convergence to the global minimum is guaranteed in SDP. It also has significantly lower complexity especially for cooperative networks in exchange for small performance degradation. Using these two concepts, four open problems within the area of cooperative localization and tracking in the presence of nuisance parameters are addressed. In particular, we focus on cooperative received signal strength-based localization when the propagation parameters including path-loss exponent and transmit powers are unknown. Cooperative time-of-arrival-based localization in harsh environments in the presence of severe non-line-of-sight (NLOS) propagation is also investigated. Cooperative localization in asynchronous networks is studied where the clock parameters are considered as nuisance parameters and the focus is on a joint synchronization and localization approach. Lastly, source tracking in NLOS environments is studied where source nodes are mobile and their status changes rapidly from LOS to NLOS and vice versa.



Cooperative positioning, localization, semidefinite programming