Asymmetric event-driven node localization in wireless sensor networks

Radu Stoleru, Tian He, Siddhartha S. Mathiharan, Stephen M. George, John A. Stankovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Localization of wireless sensor nodes has long been regarded as a problem that is difficult to solve, especially when considering characteristics of real-world environments. This paper formally describes, designs, implements, and evaluates a novel localization system called Spotlight. The system uses spatiotemporal properties of well-controlled events in the network, light in this case, to obtain locations of sensor nodes. Performance of the system is evaluated through deployments of Mica2 and XSM motes in an outdoor environment, where 20 cm localization error is achieved. A sensor network consisting of any number of nodes deployed in a 2,500 m 2 area can be localized in under 10 minutes. Submeter localization error in an outdoor environment is made possible without equipping the wireless sensor nodes with specialized ranging hardware.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6007131
Pages (from-to)634-642
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A preliminary version of the paper was presented at the 2005 ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys). This work was supported by US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grant F336616-01-C-1905 and US National Science Foundation (NSF) grants CCR-0098269, CNS-0626614, CNS-0923203.


  • Wireless sensor networks
  • asymmetric function
  • node localization


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