Target localization, which aims to estimate the location of an unknown target, is one of the key issues in applications of underwater acoustic sensor networks (UASNs). However, the constrained property of an underwater environment, such as restricted communication capacity of sensor nodes and sensing noises, makes target localization a challenging problem. This paper relies on fractional sensor nodes to formulate a support vector learning-based particle filter algorithm for the localization problem in communication-constrained underwater acoustic sensor networks. A node-selection strategy is exploited to pick fractional sensor nodes with short-distance pattern to participate in the sensing process at each time frame. Subsequently, we propose a least-square support vector regression (LSSVR)-based observation function, through which an iterative regression strategy is used to deal with the distorted data caused by sensing noises, to improve the observation accuracy. At the same time, we integrate the observation to formulate the likelihood function, which effectively update the weights of particles. Thus, the particle effectiveness is enhanced to avoid “particle degeneracy” problem and improve localization accuracy. In order to validate the performance of the proposed localization algorithm, two different noise scenarios are investigated. The simulation results show that the proposed localization algorithm can efficiently improve the localization accuracy. In addition, the node-selection strategy can effectively select the subset of sensor nodes to improve the communication efficiency of the sensor network.
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