Reliable sensor location for object positioning and surveillance via trilateration

Kun An, Siyang Xie, Yanfeng Ouyang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Object positioning and surveillance has been playing an important role in various indoor location-aware applications. Signal attenuation or blockage often requires multiple local sensors to be used jointly to provide coverage and determine object locations via mobile devices. The deployment of sensors has a significant impact on the accuracy of positioning and effectiveness of surveillance. In this paper, we develop a reliable sensor location model that aims at optimizing the location of sensors so as to maximize the accuracy of object positioning/surveillance under the risk of possible sensor disruptions. We formulate the problem as a mixed-integer linear program and develop solution approaches based on a customized Lagrangian relaxation algorithm with an embedded approximation subroutine. A series of hypothetical examples and a real-world Wi-Fi access point design problem for Chicago O'Hare Airport Terminal 5 are used to demonstrate the applicability of the model and solution algorithms. Managerial insights are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-970
Number of pages15
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Disruption
  • Lagrangian relaxation
  • Sensor location
  • Trilateration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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