Accurate Anchor-Free Node Localization in Wireless Sensor Networks

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There has been a growing interest in the applications of wireless sensor networks in unattended environments. In such applications, sensor nodes are usually deployed randomly in an area of interest. Knowledge of accurate node location is essential in such network setups in order to correlate the reported data to the origin of the sensed phenomena. In addition, awareness of the nodes’ positions can enable employing efficient management strategies such as geographic routing and conducting important analysis such as node coverage properties. In this paper, we present an efficient anchor-free protocol for localization in wireless sensor networks. Each node discovers its neighbors that are within its transmission range and estimates their ranges. Our algorithm fuses local range measurements in order to form a network wide unified coordinate systems while minimizing the overhead incurred at the deployed sensors. Scalability is achieved through grouping sensors into clusters. Simulation results show that the proposed protocol achieves precise localization of sensors and maintains consistent error margins. In addition, we capture the effect of error accumulation of the node’s range estimates and network’s size and connectivity on the overall accuracy of the unified coordinate system.