Cooperative localization using distance measurements for mobile nodes

Wenchao Li*, Beth Jelfs, Allison Kealy, Xuezhi Wang, Bill Moran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


This paper considers the two-dimensional (2D) anchorless localization problem for sensor networks in global positioning system (GPS)-denied environments. We present an efficient method, based on the multidimensional scaling (MDS) algorithm, in order to estimate the positions of the nodes in the network using measurements of the inter-node distances. The proposed method takes advantage of the mobility of the nodes to address the location ambiguity problem, i.e., rotation and flip ambiguity, which arises in the anchorless MDS algorithm. Knowledge of the displacement of the moving node is used to produce an analytical solution for the noise-free case. Subsequently, a least squares estimator is presented for the noisy scenario and the associated closed-form solution derived. The simulations show that the proposed algorithm accurately and efficiently estimates the locations of nodes, outperforming alternative methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1507
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Localization
  • Multidimensional scaling
  • Position ambiguity
  • Sensor network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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