New Efficient Indoor Cooperative Localization Algorithm With Empirical Ranging Error Model

Shenghong Li, Mark Hedley, Iain B. Collings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Cooperative localization can improve both the availability and accuracy of positioning systems, and distributed belief propagation is a promising enabling technology. Difficulties with belief propagation lie in achieving high accuracy without causing high communication overhead and computational complexity. This limits its application in practical systems with mobile nodes that have limited battery size and processing capabilities. In this paper, we propose an efficient cooperative localization algorithm that can be applied to a real indoor localization system with a non-Gaussian ranging error distribution. We first propose an asymmetric double exponential ranging error model based on empirical ranging data. An efficient cooperative localization algorithm based on distributed belief propagation is then proposed. The communication and computational cost is reduced by passing approximate beliefs represented by Gaussian distributions between neighbours and by using an analytical approximation to compute peer-to-peer messages. An extension of the proposed algorithm is also proposed for tracking dynamic nodes. The proposed algorithms are validated on an indoor localization system deployed with 28 nodes covering 8000 m2, and are shown to outperform existing algorithms. In particular, the fraction of nodes located to one-meter accuracy is doubled using the proposed ranging error model and localization algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7103017
Pages (from-to)1407-1417
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


  • Cooperative localization
  • belief propagation
  • indoor positioning
  • ranging error model


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