Range-Free Localization and Its Impact on Large Scale Sensor Networks

Tian He, Chengdu Huang, Tarek F. Abdelzaher, Brian M. Blum, John A. Stankovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the proliferation of location dependent applications in sensor networks, location awareness becomes an essential capability of sensor nodes. Because coarse accuracy is sufficient for most sensor network applications, solutions in range-free localization are being pursued as a cost-effective alternative to more expensive range-based approaches. In this paper, we present APIT, a novel localization algorithm that is range-free.We show that our APIT scheme performs best when an irregular radio pattern and random node placement are considered, and low communication overhead is desired. We compare our work, via extensive simulation, with three state-of-the-art range-free localization schemes to identify the preferable system configurations of each. In addition, we provide insight into the impact of localization accuracy on various location dependent applications and suggestions on improving their performance in the presence of such inaccuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-906
Number of pages30
JournalACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005


  • Algorithms
  • Design
  • Localization
  • Performance
  • location discovery
  • positioning
  • sensor network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture


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