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Collaborative Sensing to Improve Information Quality for Target Tracking in

Wireless Sensor Networks


Wendong Xiao and Chen Khong Tham
Institute for Infocomm Research
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A * Star)
Singapore
{wxiao, cktham}@i2r.a-star.edu.sg
Abstract- Due to limited network resources for sensing,
communication and computation, information quality (IQ) in a
wireless sensor network (WSN) depends on the algorithms and
protocols for managing such resources. In this paper, for
target tracking application in WSNs consisting of active
sensors (such as ultrasonic sensors) in which normally a sensor
senses the environment actively by emitting energy and
measuring the refected energy, we present a novel
collaborative sensing scheme to improve the IQ using joint
sensing and adaptive sensor scheduling. With multiple sensors
participating in a single sensing operation initiated by an
emitting sensor, joint sensing can increase the sensing region of
an individual emitting sensor and generate multiple sensor
measurements simultaneously. By adaptive sensor scheduling,
the emitting sensor for the next time step can be selected
adaptively according to the predicted target location and the
detection probability of the emitting sensor. Extended Kalman
flter (EKF) is employed to estimate the target state (i.e., the
target location and velocity) using sensor measurements and to
predict the target location. A Monte Carlo method is presented
to calculate the detection probability of an emitting sensor. It is
demonstrated by simulation experiments that collaborative
sensing can signifcantly improve the IQ, and hence the
tracking accuracy, as compared to individual sensing.
Keword-inormation qualit; wireless sensor netorks;
taret tracking; joint sensing; sensor schedling; colaboratve
sensing; Kalman jber
I. INTRODUCTION
Typically, a wireless sensor network (WSN) is
application-driven and mission-critical. Therefore, the
information quality (lQ) or quality of information (QoI)
such as the accuracy of target tracking or event detection is
critical for the end users, service providers and the system
designers. To provide accurate IQ in WSNs is challenging
due to the resource-constrained, dynamic and distributed
nature of the network and the lack of a holistic design
approach, which takes into account diferent types of
resources and their inter-dependencies.
Recently, IQ is receiving increasing interests for vaious
WSN applications. For example, in [1], based on dynamic
Bayesian network, sensor selection approaches for human
activity detection are proposed to optimize IQ represented
by the entropy of the detection probability. In [2], the
978-1-4244-5328-3/10/$26.00 2010
99
Sajal K. Das
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
The University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, TX, USA
das@uta.edu
relationship between the sensor sampling rate and the QoI
metric of timeliness and confdence is derived. In [3], the
entropy of sensory data is used to quantif the IQ. Based on
the exponential correlation model for the sensory data, an
asynchronous sampling strategy is proposed to improve the
IQ through shifing the sampling moments of sensors.
Target tracking in WSNs has been studied extensively.
Due to the limited sensing capability and limited resources
for communications and computation, collaborative
resource management is required to trade-of between the
tracking accuracy, i.e., the IQ of the target tracking
application, and the resource usages, e.g., through selection
of single tasking sensor [4-6] or multiple tasking sensors
[7]. A distributed market-based congestion scheme is
presented in [8] for competition of allocated time slot in a
node aong multiple target tracks with diferent QoI ad
priorities. Ultrasonic WSN test-beds for target tracking are
also developed using centralized architecture [9] and
distributed sensor competition [10] to show the IQ of
diferent sensor scheduling schemes.
In general, sensors used in WSNs can be classifed into
active ad passive ones. Passive sensing mechanism is used
in acoustic, seismic or thermal sensors where the sensor
measures energy already in the environment [5, 7]. A sensor
adopting the active sensing mechanism, like the ultrasonic
sensor, senses the environment actively by emitting energy
and measuring the refected energy [6, 9, 10].
To the best of our knowledge, in the existing literature,
the tasking sensor works independently of other sensors for
individual measurement. In this paper, based on active
ultrasonic sensors, we will introduce a joint sensing
mechanism by using single sensor to emit the energy and
multiple sensors to measure the refected energy signals
fom the target, and present a novel collaborative sensing
scheme using joint sensing and adaptive sensor scheduling
to select the emitting sensor for the next time step according
to the predicted target detection probability of the emitting
sensor. We will show that joint sensing can increase the
sensing region of the emitting sensor and enable more usefl
sensor measurements simultaneously and the collaborative
sensing can improve the IQ signifcantly.
Due to the nonlinear characteristic of the measurements
of joint sensing, extended Kalma flter (EKF) [11] will be
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used to predict and estimate the target location and velocity
information. The predicted target location will then be used
to obtain the predicted target detection probability based on
its Monte Calo sampling.
The paper is organized as follows: Joint sensing
mechanism will be introduced in Section II. EK for fsing
sensor measurement and calculating IQ for target tracking
will be described in Section III. The collaborative sensing
scheme, including the adaptive sensor scheduling, target
detection model, target detection probability and its
coresponding Monte Calo calculate method, will be
detailed in Section IV. Simulation results will be reported in
Section V. Finally conclusions and fture work will be
introduced in Section VI.
II. JOIT SENSIG
In this paper, we assume that each ultasonic sensor
installs the sound wave emitter and receiver, ad all the
sensors in the network ae homogeneous ad time
synchronized.
Normally an ultasonic sensor adopts the active sensing
mechaism where the sensor emits sound wave and
measures the refected echo fom the taget. The time of
fight (TOF) is converted into range information towards the
target. In this paper, we adopt a simplifed cone shape
detection region model for a tpical ultrasonic sensor, where
one ultrasonic sensor i is chaacterized by its location (xs;
YSi), orientation f, detection angle , and detection range
d. The TOF equals to the roud trip time of the wave fom
the emitting sensor to the taget and then back to the emitting
sensor, which coresponds to the round tip distance of the
sound wave that is bounded by 2d.
As shown in Fig. 1, only when the taget is within the
detection region (e.g., at location A) of emitting ultasonic
sensor 3, this sensor ca obtain its measurement individually.
Sensor 3 can never detect te taget when the target is
outside its detection region (e.g., at location B), although the
sound wave can also reach ultrasonic sensor 5 afer being
refected fom the target (because the total tip distance is
less than 2<. This signal received by ultasonic sensor 5 is
simply discarded in [5, 8]. However, we found that such
signal can be ver usefl as the sensor measurement,
therefore we call ultrasonic sensor 5 can jointly sense the
target with the emitting sensor 3. Fig. 1 also shows that when
the taget is located (e.g., at location A) in the detection
region of the emitting sensor 3, joint sensing can also be
done by sensor 2. Note that sensor 6 can not jointly sense
any target with sensor 3 as the sound wave fom ultrasonic
sensor 3 can always reach ultrasonic sensor 6 directly, no
matter whether or not there ae tagets in the network.
In this paper, we assume that the taget can be jointly
sensed by two sensors, if the following joint sensing
conditions ae satisfed:
1. The taget is within the detection angles of both sensors;
2. The sum of distances fom the taget to the sensors is
less than 2d;
100
3. The two sensors ae not within line of sight with each
other (i.e., not within the detection angle of each other).
According to the above joint sensing conditions, no
matter which sensor in these two sensors is the emitter, the
signal can be received by the other sensor.
As an example, Fig. 2 shows the joint sensing region of
sensors 1 and 2, when sensor 1 is the emitting sensor ad
sensor 2 is the receiving sensor. The ellipse consists of all
points where the sum of its distances to sensor 1 and sensor 2
is 2d. The taget must be inside this ellipse if sensor 1 ad
sensor 2 can jointly sense the target.
Ultrasonic
l9
lJ
9
Ultrasonic Ultrasonic
Sensor5Collabonlthe Sensor 4
Ultrasonic
/
=
=
=
Sensor3
9 J 99
Ultrasonic
Sensor 1 Sensor 2
Figure l. Joint sensing
Figure 2. Joint sensing region
Figure 3. Joint sensing region of sensors 1, 2 ad 3
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In Fig. 2, areas a and b ca only be sensed by sensor I
individually, as any point in area a is not in the detection
angle of sensor 2 (i.e., not satisf joint sensing condition 1)
and the sum of the distances fom any point in area b to
sensor 1 and sensor 2 is lager than 2d (i.e., not satisf joint
sensing condition 2). Areas c, d, and e can be jointly sensed
by sensor 1 and sensor 2 as any point in them satisfes the
three joint sensing conditions.
Similaly, we know that areas f and g can not be jointly
sensed by sensor 1 and sensor 2.
The original detection region of sensor 1 by individual
sensing is the union of aeas a, b, c ad d. Now we fmd that
by joint sensing, the target located in aea e can also be
jointly sensed, which indicates that joint sensing can increase
the detection region of individual sensors. In addition, if the
target is located in aea c or d, we can obtain two sensor
measurements, one is the distace fom sensor 1 to the taget,
and the other one is the sum of the distances fom sensor 1 to
the target and fom the taget to sensor 2.
As another exaple, Fig. 3 shows the joint sensing
region of sensors 1, 2 and 3 when sensor 1 is the emitting
sensor. We can fmd that the detection region of the joint
sensing is iregula ad much larger than the original
individual sensor detection region.
III. EK TRACKING ALGORITHM AND IQ
The EK algorithm is adopted to fse the joint sensing
measurements and the measurements taken at diferent time
steps.
The following constant velocity target motion model is
used in this paper:
X(k+l) = F.0(k) +qU(k)
( 1)
with
X(k) =
x, (k+ 1)
R
[ k+l) 1
y(k+l)
, k
Yi
k+l)
and
1 N
k
0 0
o 1 0 0
0 0 1 N
k
0 0 o 1
U(k)=
(Ux
(k
)
uik)
M
0
2
Mk
0
Gk)=
M
0
2
0
Mk
where x(k) and y(k) are x- and y- coordinates of the target at
time step k; xv(k) and yv(k) are respectively the
velocities of the target along x- and y- directions at time step
k; At
.
is the time diference between the measurement
times at steps k and k+ 1. Here U(k) is the Gaussian white
acceleration noise with zero mean and covariance matrix Q.
Suppose at time step k, sensor s() is the emitting sensor,
and the target is jointly sensed by s(k) and sensors sl(k),
S2(k), . . . , sm(k), then the nonlinear observation model is
101
Z
(k) = h
k
(X(k),Xs(k),Xs (k),Xs (k), ... ,Xs (k+V(k)
1 2 m
with
h(X(k), Xs (k),Xs
t
(k
h(X(k),Xs(k),Xs (k
=
.
2
+V(k)
h(X(k), Xs (k),Xs
m
(k
(2)
-\\ . .
. . (3)
where x

..

is the known location of sensor
s(k), andX
j
(k)=(x

(ky

(k)) is the location of the sensor
Sj(k). Here V (k) is the Gaussian white measurement noise
of the receiving sensors with zero mean and variance R().
To be consistent, when the target can be sensed by
emitting sensor s(k), the measurement equation (3) is also
applicable with the emitting sensor and the receiving sensor
being the same.
Given the estimate X(k I k) of X(k) at time step k,
EK algorithm consists of an prediction update phase to
calculate the predicted state X (k + 11 k) and its
corresponding prediction error covariance P( k + 1 I k) ,
and a measurement update phase to obtain the new state
estimation X (k + 11 k + 1) and its corresponding error
covariance matrix k+llk+l) fom X(k +llk) and
P(k + 11 k) using the sensor measurements Z(+ 1).
The detailed information on EK operations can be
found in [ 1 1] and is omitted here due to the space
limitation.
Based on the state estimation, various measures can be
defmed for the IQ, i.e., the tracking accuracy, such as the
trace or the determinant of the covariance matrix,
eigenvalues of the diference between the desired and the
predicted covariance matrices, and the entropy of the state
estimation distribution. In this paper, the IQ, <(


, at time
step k is defned as the trace of the covariance matrix, i.e.,
(k) = Trace(P(k I k)). (4)
IV. COLLAORTIVE SENSING AND ADAPTIVE SENSOR
SCHEDULING
A. Inter-Sensor Interference and Sensor Scheduling
A serious problem in WSN of active sensors is the
inter-sensor interference (lSI) when nearby ultrasonic
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sensors emit sound wave simultaneously. Such interference
will result in erroneous sensor readings and must be dealt
with properly. lSI also introduces a new technological
constraint in the design and implementation of a WSN. In
this paper, we assume the WSN is deployed in a small area
where the sensor nodes ae in the interference range of each
other, and only single target tracking is considered. To avoid
lSI, at each time step, only one emitting sensor will be
scheduled and the other sensors will paicipate in joint
sensing with the scheduled emitting sensor.
Periodic sensor scheduling is used in [6, 9] where the
time is divided into periodic cycles. Within a cycle, a
predefmed duation (called time slot) is assigned for each
ultrasonic sensor for sensing, during which it can work
properly without interference fom other sensors.
A critical drawback of periodic sensor scheduling is that a
detection may be missed when a scheduled sensor can not
generate effective joint sensing measurements, which results
in lower tacking accuracy. Tis problem is shown in Fig. 4
for a WSN with six ultasonic sensors. The discretized taget
trajector is displayed as circles with the scheduled sensors
indicated beside the tajector points, with the tajector
point displayed as shaded circle if it can be successflly
detected by joint sensing of sensors, otherwise displayed as
non-shaded circles. In the scheduling cycle i identifed by the
solid ellipse, the sensors ae scheduled fom sensor 1 to
sensor 6. However, only scheduled sensors 1, 3,
5
, and 6
generate efective detections whereas sensors 2 and 4
generate empty detections. For example, the frst trajector
point with scheduled emitting sensor 1 associates with two
measurements by sensors 1 and 6. The second tajector
point with scheduled emitting sensor 2 can not be detected as
it is outside the detection agle of sensor 2. The third
trajector point can be detected by joint sensing of sensor 3
and sensor
5
. Similaly, in te scheduling cycle i+ 1, only
scheduled sensors 2 and 6 generate effective detections
whereas sensors 1, 3, 4, and
5
generate empty detections.
To overcome the above drawback of period sensor
scheduling, we introduce the adaptive sensor scheduling to
select the emitting sensor for te next time step according to
the predicted target location and the sensing region of the
sensors.
Figure 4. Efective and missing detections in periodic sensor scheduling
102
D. Collaborative Sensing
In this paper, collaborative sensing is used to stand for
joint sensing and the joint sensing enabled adaptive sensor
scheduling.
Either centralized or distributed target tracking structure
can be adopted, depending on the fsion centre being the
centralized management centre or the scheduled sensor. At
each time step, the scheduled sensor emits the sound wave
and all other sensor nodes that can perform joint sensing
with the emitting sensor will collect the measurements and
forward the measurements to the fsion centre. The fsion
centre will run EKF to give updates of the state estimation
using the new measurements and schedule the emitting
sensor for the next time step. Then it will inform the
scheduled sensor to perform the emitting operation in the
next time step, together with the state estimation and
covariance matrix information in the distributed structure.
We assume that the fsion centre knows the location and
orientation of each sensor. In the distributed structure, this
means that each sensor knows such information of each
node because each sensor is possible to be the fsion centre.
Diferent measures can be used as the performance
indices to select the emitting sensor, including the joint
sensing detection probability, tracking accuracy, and energy
efciency. However, to calculate these performance indices
under the joint sensing mechanism is not an easy task. For
simplifcation and easy to compare with individual sensing
scheme, in this paper, we schedule the emitting sensor
according to the individual sensor detection probability.
Due to the uncertainties in the taget motion model such
as the taget maneuvering, even using adaptive sensor
scheduling, it is still possible that the scheduled sensor ca
not detect the target. If this happens, the fsion cente will
use the predicted state and its covaiance matrix as the
estimation result.
C Detection Probabilit for Individual Sensing
Suppose S is the emitting sensor, for a given target
location X=(x, y), the target can be detected by S
individually if it is in the detection region of S.
Mathematically the following target detection model is used
p
(x
,
y)
= {I, if (x
,
y) is in the dettionregionof S
;
(5)'
I
0, otherwtse.
Without loss of generality, in this paper, we suppose the
target location is 2-dimensional. For emitting sensor
selection, the prediction of the detection probability of a
given emitting sensor is required. Denote the prediction of
the target location and its covariance as
J
and L which
are sub-vector of X(k 11 k) and sub-matrix of P(k+llk)
respectively. Then the probability density fnction (PDF)
fnction of the 10cationX=(x, y) will be
fxy) = 112 e ( X -Jt r1 (X -J) )
. (6)
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l8l pI0lCllOn
IOl Slp k+1
l8lSllm8llOn
8l Sp k
nSOlSj
Figure 5. Predicted detection probability for joint sensing
8pl0lCllOn
IOI Sp k+1
nSOlSj
Figure 6. Approximate the Gaussia distribution by random samples
Fig. 5 shows the current state estimation and state
prediction for the next time step by 3a ellipses, as well as
the sensing region of sensor S. In general, the prediction of
the joint sensing detection probability by using S for the
next time step will be
= [| (x,y)xdy.
(7)
D. Monte Carlo Method for Approximation of Detection
Probabilit
Unfortunately, as shown in Fig. 5, to calculate the joint
sensing detection probability analytically for a given
emitting sensor is diffcult. Therefore, we adopt the Monte
Carlo simulation method to generate random samples to
approximate the Gaussian distribution in equation (6) of the
target location prediction. Fig. 6 illustrates an example for
approximating a two-dimensional location Gaussian
distribution by random samples. Suppose the total number
of samples used is K, then the Gaussian distribution is
approximated using discrete probability mass fnction
(PMF) P(Xj,y) with value 11K for each sample location.
Accordingly, the detection probability Ps of S; is
I
approximated as
103
Emitting Sensor Selection
In this paper, the emitting sensor is selected as the sensor
with the maximal detection probability for individual
sensing. Afer the emitting sensor is selected and activated
for emitting wave, for individual sensing scheme only the
emitting sensor can take the measurement whereas for the
joint sensing scheme, multiple sensors ca take the
measurements simultaneously.
N. SIMULATION RSULTS
Simulation experiments are conducted for comparing
between joint sensing and individual sensing schemes, both
based on adaptive sensor scheduling. As shown in Fig. 7,
the monitored feld is 300cm X 300cm square area. The
bottom-lef comer of the feld is with the coordinate (0, 0),
whereas the upper-right comer is with the coordinate (300,
300). Each ultrasonic sensor has the maximal sensing range
of 300 cm and the maximal measurement angle is 22.
There are eight ultrasonic sensors located along the edge of
the area respectively with coordinates (70, 0), (190, 0), (300,
70), (300, 190), (230, 300), (110, 300), (0, 230) and (0,
110). The orientations of the sensors are respectively 90,
90, 180, 180, 270, 270, 0 and 0 such that the feld can
be covered mostly and any two sensors are not in the
detection region of each other. In this setup, each sensor is
in the lSI region of any other sensor. We assume the
duration of a time slot is 100 ms.
The target moves along a straight line as shown in Fig. 7
with the speed 100cmlsecond. Q is setup at 1.57*1061 where
I is the identity matrix. Periodic sensor scheduling is used
for initial detection of the target and to initiate the tracking
procedure. The initial location estimation of the target is set
to the point along the central line of the beam patter of the
detecting sensor with the distance to the detecting sensor
equal to the initial measurement. The initial velocity
estimation of the target is set to O. The initial covariance can
be set heuristically according to the orientation and
measurement of the detecting target.
Typical estimated trajectories of adaptive sensor
scheduling using individual sensing and joint sensing are
shown in the Fig. 7. Clearly, the estimated trajector by
joint sensing is much closer to the true target trajector as
compared with the individual sensing scheme.
The evolutions of tracking erors, i.e., the IQ, are shown
in Fig. 8. The gain of the joint sensing is observed. The
maximal and averaged tracking eror of individual sensing
are about 25 cm and 10.01 cm respectively, whereas that of
the joint sensing are about 10 cm and 3.66 cm respectively,
a signifcant improvement.
The improvement of the IQ of joint sensing against the
individual sensing is due to the increase of the detection
region and more simultaneous measurements. Fig. 9 shows
the number of sensors used for taking measurements at each
time step. Because the individual sensing is a specifc joint
sensing scenario where the emitting sensor is the same as
the receiving sensor, the number of sensors of the individual
sensing scheme (being one by default) is always smaller or
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equal to that of the joint sensing scheme. We can fmd that
for most of the time steps, the joint sensing scheme has
more than two simultaneous measurements except time step
22 and time step 25 with no measurement and one
measurement, respectively. However, for individual sensing
scheme fom time steps 16-24, it does not have any
measurements, except time step 23, although one emitting
sensor is scheduled for each time step. For time steps 16-21,
and time step 22, joint sensing has more than two
measurements but individual sensing does not have any
measurements, which demonstrates that the joint sensing
can increase the detection region signifcantly.
VI. CONCLUSIONS
A novel collaborative sensing scheme is proposed for
target tracking application in WSNs by joint sensing and
adaptive sensor scheduling. The proposed scheme can
increase the detection region of an individual sensor and
introduce more simultaneous sensor measurements for a
single sensing operation. It is shown by simulations that the
IQ of the WSN can be improved signifcantly using joint
sensing. Future research issues include sensor scheduling
for joint sensing for large scale WSNs, adaptive tracking
algorithms for high maneuvering targets, joint sensing for
multi-target tracking, as well as real test-bed development.
ns Snso

5
:: --- ----
True target Irajectory
_Estimated trajectory by individual sensing
:s: -Estimated trajectory by joint sensing
nso 7
:::
ts:
nso
:::
s:

: s
-

-
:
s::
Figure 7. Estimated trajectories by adative sensor scheduling
10
2
20

"

0

Individual sensing
-Joint sensing
Time steps
Figure 8. Evolutions of tracking errors for adaptive sensor scheduling
104
--Individual sensing
4.5
--Joint sensing
4
3.5
2.5
1.5
0.5
0L--0 -5--2 0--25-30
Time steps
Figure 9. Number of simultaeous measurements obtained by adaptive
sensor scheduling
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