(TUT #02-Navigation) Network Localization and Navigation: fundamental limits, cooperative algorithms, and network experimentation


Prof. Moe Z. Win

Laboratory for Information and
Decision Systems (LIDS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Dr. Andrea Conti

Engineering Department (ENDIF)
University of Ferrara

Date: : September 12, 2017 (afternoon)


The availability of real-time high-accuracy location awareness is essential for current and future wireless applications, particularly for the Internet of Things and 5G networks. Reliable localization and navigation is a critical component for a diverse set of applications including connected communities, smart cities, home automation, logistics, asset tracking, medical services, vehicle autonomy, military systems, as well as a large set of emerging wireless sensor network applications. The coming years will see the emergence of network localization and navigation in challenging environments with sub-meter accuracy and minimal infrastructure requirements.

We will first cover four basic components of traditional positioning: ranging techniques (e.g., time-of-arrival, received signal strength); positioning algorithms (e.g., least-squares, maximum likelihood); performance bounds (Fisher information inequality); and network experimentation (for characterization of cooperative localization) in real environments. Secondly, we will discuss the limitations of traditional positioning, and move on to the key enablers for high-accuracy location awareness: wideband transmission and cooperative processing.

We will cover fundamental bounds, cooperative algorithms, and network experimentation. Fundamental bounds serve as performance benchmarks, and as a tool for network design. Cooperative algorithms are a way to achieve drastic performance improvements with respect to traditional non-cooperative positioning. To harness these benefits, system designers must consider realistic operational settings; thus, we have performed extensive measurement campaigns with wideband radios.


Attendees of this tutorial will learn about location-aware networks in two ways. On the one hand, they will get a high-level overview of fundamental performance bounds, ranging techniques, positioning algorithms, and network experimentation. On the other hand, the tutorial will serve as an introduction to the state of the art in location inference for active and passive localization employing wideband wireless technology. Results based on measurements collected via network experimentation employing wideband and ultra-wideband radios are provided.

Motivation and objective

Network localization and navigation give rise to a new paradigm for context-aware wireless communications, enabling a variety of new applications that rely on position information of mobile nodes. As the ability to localize devices in wireless networks becomes increasingly important, it is necessary for researchers in communications to be aware of both the fundamentals and the state of the art in location-aware networks. This tutorial is aimed at students and practitioners to provide this knowledge in a rigorous, yet concise form.

Outline: The presentation outline is as follows
  • Goals
  • Localization
    • Problem Formulation
    • Requirements
  • Localization Basics
    • Measurement Phase
    • Localization Phase
    • Performance Evaluation
  • Localization Systems
    • Examples
    • Limitations
  • High-accuracy Localization
    • Theoretical Foundation
    • Cooperative Algorithms
    • Network Experimentation
    • Performance Evaluation
  • Localization of Untagged Objects
    • Problem Formulation
    • Performance Evaluation
  • Research Directions
  • Summary and Conclusions
Biography Prof. Win

Moe Win is a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to joining MIT, he was at AT&T Research Laboratories for five years and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for seven years. His research encompasses fundamental theories, algorithm design, and experimentation for a broad range of real-world problems. His current research topics include network localization and navigation, network interference exploitation, intrinsic wireless secrecy, adaptive diversity techniques, ultrawide bandwidth systems, optical transmission systems, and space communications systems. Professor Win is an elected Member-at-Large on the IEEE Communications Society Board of Governors (2011−2013). He was the Chair (2005−2006) and Secretary (2003−2004) for the Radio Communications Committee of the IEEE Communications Society. Dr. Win is currently an Editor-at-Large for the WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS LETTERS. He served as Editor (2006–2012) for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS, and as Area Editor (2003–2006) and Editor (1998–2006) for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATIONS. He was honored with two IEEE Technical Field Awards: the IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award and the IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award. He received the IEEE Communications Society Edwin H. Armstrong Achievement Award, the International Prize for Communications Cristoforo Colombo, Copernicus Fellowship, the Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Fellowship, the Fulbright Fellowship, the Laurea Honoris Causa from the University of Ferrara, the Technical Recognition Award of the IEEE ComSoc Radio Communications Committee, and the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Professor Win is elected Fellow of the AAAS, the IEEE, and the IET, and was an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer.

Biography Prof. Conti

Andrea Conti is an Associate Professor at the University of Ferrara. He was researcher at CNIT (1999–2002) and at IEIIT/CNR (2002–2005) with the Research Unit of Bologna. In Summer 2001, he was with the Wireless Systems Research De-partment at AT&T Research Laboratories. Since 2003, he has been a frequent visitor to the Wireless Communication and Network Sciences Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he presently holds the Research Affiliate appointment. He is a coauthor of Wireless Sensor and Actuator Networks: Enabling Technologies, Information Processing and Protocol Design (Elsevier, 2008). His research interests involve theory and experimentation of wireless systems and networks including network localization and navigation, adaptive diversity communications, network secrecy, and random sampling. He is recipient of the HTE Puskás Tivadar Medal and co-recipient of the IEEE Communications Society’s Stephen O. Rice Prize and the IEEE Communications Society’s Fred W. Ellersick Prize. Dr. Conti served as an Associate Editor for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS, for the IEEE WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS LETTERS, and for the for the IEEE COMMUNICATIONS LETTERS. He organized and chaired a number of IEEE conferences. He was elected Chair (2013−2014), Vice-Chair (2011−2012), and Secretary (2009−2010) of the IEEE Communications Society’s Radio Communications Technical Committee. He is an elected Fellow of the IET and has been selected as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer.