Selection of Sensors for Efficient Transmitter Localization

We address the problem of localizing an (unauthorized) transmitter using a distributed set of sensors. Our focus is on developing techniques that perform the transmitter localization in an efficient manner, wherein the efficiency is defined in terms of the number of sensors used to localize. Localization of unauthorized transmitters is an important problem which arises in many important applications, e.g., in patrolling of shared spectrum systems for any unauthorized users. Localization of transmitters is generally done based on observations from a deployed set of sensors with limited resources, thus it is imperative to design techniques that minimize the sensors’ energy resources. In this paper, we design greedy approximation algorithms for the optimization problem of selecting a given number of sensors in order to maximize an appropriately defined objective function of localization accuracy. The obvious greedy algorithm delivers a constant-factor approximation only for the special case of two hypotheses (potential locations). For the general case of multiple hypotheses, we design a greedy algorithm based on an appropriate auxiliary objective function—and show that it delivers a provably approximate solution for the general case. We develop techniques to significantly reduce the time complexity of the designed algorithms by incorporating certain observations and reasonable assumptions. We evaluate our techniques over multiple simulation platforms, including an indoor as well as an outdoor testbed, and demonstrate the effectiveness of our designed techniques—our techniques easily outperform prior and other approaches by up to 50-60% in large-scale simulations and up to 16% in small-scale testbeds.