A novel algorithm for multipath fingerprinting in indoor WLAN environments

Shih Hau Fang, Tsung Nan Lin, Kun Chou Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Citations (Scopus)


Positioning in indoor wireless environments is growing rapidly in importance and gains commercial interests in context-awareness applications. The essential challenge in localization is the severe fluctuation of receive signal strength (RSS) for the mobile client even at a fixed location. This work explores the major noisy source resulted from the multipath in an indoor wireless environment and presents an advanced positioning architecture to reduce the disturbance. Our contribution is to propose a novel approach to extract the robust signal feature from measured RSS which is provided by IEEE 802.11 MAC software so that the multipath effect can be mitigated efficiently. The dynamic multipath behavior, which can be modeled by a convolution operation in the time domain, can be transformed into an additive random variable in the logarithmic spectrum domain. That is, the convolution process becomes a linear and separable operation in the logarithmic spectrum domain and then can be effectively removed. To our best knowledge, this work is the first to enhance the robustness to a multipath fading condition, which is common in the environments of an indoor wireless LAN (WLAN) location fingerprinting system. Our approach is conceptually simple and easy to be implemented for practical applications. Neither a new hardware nor an extra sensor network installation is required. Both analytical simulation and experiments in a real WLAN environment demonstrate the usefulness of our approach to significant performance improvements. The numerical result-show that the mean and the standard deviation of estimated error are reduced by 42% and 29%, respectively, as compared to the traditional maximum likelihood based approach. Moreover, the experimental results also show that fewer training samples are required to build the positioning models. This result can be attributed to that the location related information is effectively extracted by our algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4626331
Pages (from-to)3579-3588
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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