Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Kaveh Pahlavan, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Fred J. Looft, Department Head

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Allen H. Levesque, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Wenjing Lou, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Farshid Alizadeh, Committee Member




"Recently considerable attention has been paid to indoor geolocation using wireless local area networks (WLAN) and wireless personal area networks (WPAN) devices. As more applications using these technologies are emerging in the market, the need for accurate and reliable localization increases. In response to this need, a number of technologies and associated algorithms have been introduced in the literature. These algorithms resolve the location either by using estimated distances between a mobile station (MS) and at least three reference points (via triangulation) or pattern recognition through radio frequency (RF) fingerprinting. Since RF fingerprinting, which requires on site measurements is a time consuming process, it is ideal to replace this procedure with the results obtained from radio channel modeling techniques. Localization algorithms either use the received signal strength (RSS) or time of arrival (TOA) of the received signal as their localization metric. TOA based systems are sensitive to the available bandwidth, and also to the occurrence of undetected direct path (UDP) channel conditions, while RSS based systems are less sensitive to the bandwidth and more resilient to UDP conditions. Therefore, the comparative performance evaluation of different positioning systems is a multifaceted and challenging problem. This dissertation demonstrates the viability of radio channel modeling techniques to eliminate the costly fingerprinting process in pattern recognition algorithms by introducing novel ray tracing (RT) assisted RSS and TOA based algorithms. Two sets of empirical data obtained by radio channel measurements are used to create a baseline for comparative performance evaluation of localization algorithms. The first database is obtained by WiFi RSS measurements in the first floor of the Atwater Kent laboratory; an academic building on the campus of WPI; and the other by ultra wideband (UWB) channel measurements in the third floor of the same building. Using the results of measurement campaign, we specifically analyze the comparative behavior of TOA- and RSS-based indoor localization algorithms employing triangulation or pattern recognition with different bandwidths adopted in WLAN and WPAN systems. Finally, we introduce a new RT assisted hybrid RSS-TOA based algorithm which employs neural networks. The resulting algorithm demonstrates a superior performance compared to the conventional RSS and TOA based algorithms in wideband systems."


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





localization, indoor geolocation, indoor radio channel, Radio frequency, Wireless communication systems, Indoor geolocation systems