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The limits of localization using signal strength: a comparative study

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3 Author(s)
Elnahrawy, E. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ, USA ; Xiaoyan Li ; Martin, R.P.

We characterize the fundamental limits of localization using signal strength in indoor environments. Signal strength approaches are attractive because they are widely applicable to wireless sensor networks and do not require additional localization hardware. We show that although a broad spectrum of algorithms can trade accuracy for precision, none has a significant advantage in localization performance. We found that using commodity 802.11 technology over a range of algorithms, approaches and environments, one can expect a median localization error of 10 ft and 97th percentile of 30 ft. We present strong evidence that these limitations are fundamental and that they are unlikely to transcend without a fundamentally more complex environmental models or additional localization infrastructure.

Published in:

Sensor and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks, 2004. IEEE SECON 2004. 2004 First Annual IEEE Communications Society Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-7 Oct. 2004