Accurate WiFi based indoor positioning with continuous location sampling

van Engelen J.E., van Lier J.J., Takes F.W., Trautmann H

The ubiquity of WiFi access points and the sharp increase in WiFi-enabled devices carried by humans have paved the way for WiFi- based indoor positioning and location analysis. Locating people in indoor environments has numerous applications in robotics, crowd control, indoor facility optimization, and automated environment mapping. However, existing WiFi-based positioning systems suffer from two major problems: (1) their accuracy and precision is limited due to inherent noise induced by indoor obstacles, and (2) they only occasionally provide location esti- mates, namely when a WiFi-equipped device emits a signal. To mitigate these two issues, we propose a novel Gaussian process (GP) model for WiFi signal strength measurements. It allows for simultaneous smoothing (increasing accuracy and precision of estimators) and interpolation (en- abling continuous sampling of location estimates). Furthermore, simple and efficient smoothing methods for location estimates are introduced to improve localization performance in real-time settings. Experiments are conducted on two data sets from a large real-world commercial indoor retail environment. Results demonstrate that our approach provides sig- nificant improvements in terms of precision and accuracy with respect to unfiltered data. Ultimately, the GP model realizes continuous location sampling with consistently high quality location estimates.

indoor positioning; Gaussian processes; crowd flow analysis; machine learning; WiFi

Publication type
Conference Paper

Peer reviewed

Publication status
In press


Proceedings of the European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Database (ECML/PKDD)

Dublin, Ireland