Estimating distances via connectivity in wireless sensor networks

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing, 2014, 14 (5), pp. 541 - 556
Issue Date:
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Distance estimation is vital for localization and many other applications in wireless sensor networks. In this paper, we develop a method that employs a maximum-likelihood estimator to estimate distances between a pair of neighboring nodes in a static wireless sensor network using their local connectivity information, namely the numbers of their common and non-common one-hop neighbors. We present the distance estimation method under a generic channel model, including the unit disk (communication) model and the more realistic log-normal (shadowing) model as special cases. Under the log-normal model, we investigate the impact of the log-normal model uncertainty; we numerically evaluate the bias and standard deviation associated with our method, which show that for long distances our method outperforms the method based on received signal strength; and we provide a Cramér-Rao lower bound analysis for the problem of estimating distances via connectivity and derive helpful guidelines for implementing our method. Finally, on implementing the proposed method on the basis of measurement data from a realistic environment and applying it in connectivity-based sensor localization, the advantages of the proposed method are confirmed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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