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Mobile WiFi-Based Indoor Positioning System

Mobile WiFi-Based Indoor Positioning System

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Published by ijcsis
Navigation system wherever built inside a GPS device or on a mobile phone has been proved to be very useful for outdoor environment. The device gives you your exact position and shows you the direction to your destination. But nowadays, it is clearly seen that a navigation system may be beneficial for indoor environment as well. This paper illustrates a mobile application which will be able to estimate the position of a user within a building by using WiFi technology.
Navigation system wherever built inside a GPS device or on a mobile phone has been proved to be very useful for outdoor environment. The device gives you your exact position and shows you the direction to your destination. But nowadays, it is clearly seen that a navigation system may be beneficial for indoor environment as well. This paper illustrates a mobile application which will be able to estimate the position of a user within a building by using WiFi technology.

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Published by: ijcsis on May 15, 2012
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Mobile WiFi-Based Indoor Positioning System
Faculty of Information & Communication Technology,LIMKOKWING UniversityCyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Faculty of Information & Communication Technology,LIMKOKWING UniversityCyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Faculty of Information & Communication Technology,LIMKOKWING UniversityCyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysiaabdulkarim@limkokwing.edu.my
Faculty of Information & Communication Technology,LIMKOKWING UniversityCyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysiaa_habibi_L@hotmail.com
—Navigation system wherever built inside a GPS deviceor on a mobile phone has been proved to be very useful foroutdoor environment. The device gives you your exact positionand shows you the direction to your destination. But nowadays, itis clearly seen that a navigation system may be beneficial forindoor environment as well. This paper illustrates a mobileapplication which will be able to estimate the position of a userwithin a building by using WiFi technology.
 Keywords-WiFi, WiFi positioning System, Indoor PositioningSystem
I.INTRODUCTION Navigation system wherever built inside a GPS device or amobile phone has been proved to be very useful for outdoor environment. The device gives you your exact position andshows you the direction to your destination. But nowadays, itis clearly seen that a navigation system may be beneficial for indoor environment as well.The design of GPS was based partly on similar ground-basedradio navigation systems, such as LORAN and the Decca Navigator developed in the early 1940s, and used duringWorld War II. In 1956 Friedwardt Winterberg proposed a testof general relativity using accurate atomic clocks placed inorbit in artificial satellites. To achieve accuracy requirements,GPS uses principles of general relativity to correct thesatellites' atomic clocks. [1]The first satellite navigation system, Transit, used by theUnited States Navy, was first successfully tested in 1960. Itused a constellation of five satellites and could provide anavigational fix approximately once per hour.Global Positioning system was created and realized by theU.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and was originally runwith 24 satellites. It was established in 1973 to overcome thelimitations of previous navigation systems and is the most prominent contribution in determining position of user and inrouting him to his destination. This system uses satellites totriangulate the location of the GPS device. Though this systemhas made a good impression in terms of accuracy and is the preferred location based system for outdoor positioning, whenit comes to indoor environment, GPS has proved to beinefficient. The reason for its inefficiency is that in order for GPS to perform a triangulation, the device needs to be in line-of-sight from the satellites. Moreover, GPS system has a lowPrecision which make it not suitable for indoor areas [2].Therefore, when it comes to indoor positioning system, other alternatives such as Bluetooth, WiFi, RFID and Infrared Redare more preferable.The good thing is that all the wireless technologies mentionedabove are available on mobile phones. If you look at themobile phones being unleashed nowadays such as the Nokia N97 or the IPhone from Apple, they both come with built inBluetooth and WiFi connectivity. These features areindispensable in mobile phones as they helps to send datawirelessly or to connect to the internet wherever you are(taking into consideration that the place has WIFI available).Among these well-known wireless technologies, the onewhich mark out from the others is WiFi technology. In mostindoor environment such as airports, universities and shoppingmall, WIFI is available and is most of the time free. Therefore,anyone using a mobile device with built-in WiFi can connectto the access points and browse the internet easily. Being freeand easily accessible is a great advantage as the mobileapplication should be a low-cost application and accessible toas many user as possible.The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section two,explained about the various indoor positioning systems built inthe past, what are the advantages and disadvantages of thesystems. Section three describes the methodology used for themobile application. In section four, the implementation of thesystem is discussed. Section five, shows the testing of thesystem and as for the conclusion and future works, it is shownin section six.
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 10, No. 3, March 201213http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
Different types of wireless technologies used.The earliest location system was the Active Badge developedat Olivetti Research Laboratory where the user was wearing a badge that emitted infrared signals. [2] Every 10 seconds, aunique identifier is communicated to fixed receivers. The datais then sent to a central server that provides an API. [3] Theaccuracy of the location depends on the number of receivers.The two limitation of this method are that it requires line-of sight between the receivers and the badge and infrared red hasa short-range transmission signal.RFID has also demonstrated its capability in location-basedsystem. One famous location sensing system using RFIDtechnology is known as mTag. The mTag architecture usesfixed RFID readers located within the environment and a passive RFID tag attached to a mobile phone or PDA. [4] Thedisadvantage of using RFID is that the cost of deploying andimplementing this kind of system can be very high.The pervasive adoption of WiFi in indoor environments has provided an opportunity to develop indoor positioning systemsthat will not requires investing in specialized hardware. Someof the well-known systems using WIFI are RADAR, Herecastand PlaceLab.Radar is one of the first indoor positioning systems based onIEEE 802.11 wireless network. The system, developed byMicrosoft research uses the Radio Frequency Signal strengthto measure the distance between the Access Point and theMobile station. [5] The RADAR system includes two phases,the Training Phase and the Online Phase. In the training phase,an area is divided into a 1x1 meter grid where the signalstrength measurements of the access points are taken at eachintersection. The mean of the signal strengths which have beenobtained, is recorded to create a radio map to be used in theonline phase. In the Online phase, when the user looks for itslocation, the mobile station will detect and record the signalstrength from as many access points as possible. Then, thesignal strength received will be compared to the radio maps todetermine the location of the user.Herecast is another system using the WLAN technology. [6] Itallows the WiFi-enabled client device to determine its location by listening from signals from known access points within the building environment. The system creates a database wherethe MAC address of the access point is stored together withthe symbolic name of the location. In the localization process,the position of the user is the one associated with the access point with the strongest signal strength. The weakness of thesystem is if an access point is faulty or has been removed, the position of the user may be distorted.The PlaceLab system is similar to Herecast in that it allows theclient device to automatically obtain its location by listening tosignal from access point. PlaceLab stores the MAC address broadcast by each access point as well as its longitude andlatitude in the client device. Therefore, for when the clientdevice receives a signal from each of the access point, thelocation is calculated as the average of retrieved longitude andlatitude. [7]Using the 802.11 WiFi signals for location estimation haveattracted many researchers as the infrastructure has already been deployed widely in commercial buildings. In addition,WiFi is appropriate in indoor environment and users are notrequired to rely on specially developed wireless receivers.
Problem with WiFiUsing WIFI technology to estimate the position of the user isone of the most appropriate and profitable because in mostlyevery public building such as airport, schools and shoppingmalls, the presence of IEEE 802.11 b/g access points is madeavailable. Therefore, implementing WiFi based system would be easier. Unfortunately, though using WiFi for indoor  position system has shown promising result, it is not withoutdrawback. WiFi signal is a very sensitive signal which can beaffected by people, furniture and other architecturalcomponents in the indoor environment.
Body Effect
William et al. presents some of the negative effects thatdecrease the accuracy of using WIFI to estimate the positionof the user. The first one is Body effect. WLAN uses 2.4GHzfrequency carrier and FCC regulation requires WLAN tooperate at low power which is 1 watts or 30 dBm. Since the penetration power is noticeably low, positioning performancecan be severely affected. To be more precise, when a user isholding his mobile phone, the path between the PDA and theaccess point can be obstructed by the user. Therefore, theeffect of human body can make signal strength drops by 10-15dBm. [8]In the paper “Properties of Indoor Received Signal Strengthfor WLAN Location Fingerprint”, they have studied the effectof user’s body. They have measured the signal at a specificlocation which was about 7 m from the access point and wasnotin line-of-sight for two hours. The first hour, they datawere collected with the presence of the user while in thesecond hour, the user was not present. The histogram belowclearly demonstrates the distribution of the RSS with andwithout the present of the user. The presence of user hassignificantly changed the standard deviation from 0.68 to 3.00dBm and the mean from -70.4 dBm to -71.6 dBm. [9]Fig 1: Comparison of histogram of RSS [34]
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 10, No. 3, March 201214http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
Trailing Effect
Trailing effect is another issue when dealing with WLAN.Basically, WLAN driver use sliding window to cache beaconmessages up to 10 seconds according to the driver design.Consequently, if a user is walking away from an access point,even after he is out of range of the radio signal, the access point will still be visible until timeout occurs. [8]
Signal Aliasing
Signal aliasing refers to two points that are far apart physically but may be close together in signal space. This usually happen because of the complex indoor propagation environment. For instance, the signal strength at a point close to an AP may besimilar to another point which is far away essentially becausethe former point is receiving an obstructed signal due to work while the latter point receives an unobstructed signal.Placement of APs in the building layout is very essential insolving this problem. [10]
Techniques for locating mobile stationThe idea of locating mobile station was first introduced byFigel et al. in 1969 when they tried to locate a vehicle by usingsignal attenuation method. Ever since, researches have beendone on finding other ways of locating mobile station. Someof these location techniques are received signal strength fromFigel et al. in 1969; angle detection by Porter in 1971; andarrival time measurement by Staras and Honickrnan in 1977.
Received Signal Strength (RSS)
Signal strength method which is based on signal attenuation isthe distance between the Access points and the mobile station.The distance can be calculated either at the Mobile station or the Base station.Lin et al. in 2004 [11] proposed a mobile location systemwhich used weighted centroid method based on the ratios of distance between the access points and the mobile stationderived from the difference of signal attenuation. The benefitof this proposed method is that it does not require perfect pathloss and shadowing models. Also, this system can fit directlyinto the indoor infrastructure without any hardwaremodification.P. Bahl and V. Padmanabhan have also developed a systemcalled RADAR which is based on Received Signal Strength.The system collect the RSS from all detected Access pointsand compared it to the tuple already stored in the Radio Mapusing search techniques that computes the Euclidean distance between each SS tuple and then choose the one with theminimal distance.
Time of Arrival
Time of arrival (TOA) is referred as a multilateral method thatis used to locate the position of a mobile station by measuringthe time that it takes for a signal to travel from the mobilestation to the base station. Generally, in traditional geometricinterpretation, TOAs generate circles whose intersections givethe estimate location of the transmitter.In the paper, “A New Approach to the Geometry of TOALocation” Caffery proposed a new geometrical interpretationin which instead of using circular LOPs to determine the position of the transmitter, straight lines of position is used.The straight LOPs come from a simple observation regardingthe geometry of the system and are not obtained fromlinearization. [12]
Time Difference of Arrival
Similarly to TOA, time difference of arrival (TDOA) uses thesame concept except that it uses time differences measurementrather than absolute time measured. Also, TDOA requires aminimum of three nodes for its most basic operation. Thefigure below demonstrates a system diagram of how TDOAcan be implemented in WLAN. In this system, all the APsneed to listen to the same client which is a limitation of thissystem since APs around a specific client can be set to variousfrequency channels and therefore can only listen to their selected frequency channel. [13]
Localizations’ techniquesIn this section, 4 types of localization techniques have beendiscussed.
Weighted Center-of-Gravity Algorithm
The approach in this algorithm is that a value is assigned toevery participating access point or node. Given (n) elasticcords connected between the actual position and every access points. So, AP with more tension will attract the approximated position closer to itself. The tension is calculated based on theinverse power law and the power value (
) is variable andapproximated in training phase which can be formulated as:Eq 1: Weighted Center-of-Gravity AlgorithmWhere
and x represent the estimated coordinates, x
represents n-th AP position and its corresponding RSS.This method is suitable for mobile devices as the memoryfootprint is very small since the calculation only requires thelocation of APs and their environment value (
). [8]
Triangulation is normally used in GPS system. For each AP, acircle is formed with the radius of signal strength and centeredat the AP. The circle shows locus where the user may besituated. To estimate position, intersection points are collectedand permuted to form triangles where the centroid of thesmallest triangle refers to the position of the user.Triangulation does not require high computation but thedisadvantage of this method is that if there are too fewcandidates to form triangles, the result may not be tooaccurate. Moreover, if the global signal level fluctuates,triangulation may not adapt to the new level.
Smallest M-Vertex Polygon Algorithm (SMP)
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 10, No. 3, March 201215http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

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