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Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3736;

Indoor Positioning Based on Bluetooth Low-Energy Beacons Adopting Graph Optimization

College of Electronics and Information Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China
College of Cybersecurity, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 October 2018 / Revised: 28 October 2018 / Accepted: 30 October 2018 / Published: 2 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Positioning and Navigation)
PDF [861 KB, uploaded 2 November 2018]


Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) beacons-based indoor positioning is a promising method for indoor positioning, especially in applications of position-based services (PbS). It has low deployment cost and it is suitable for a wide range of mobile devices. Existing BLE beacon-based positioning methods can be categorized as range-based methods and fingerprinting-based methods. For range-based methods, the positions of the beacons should be known before positioning. For fingerprinting-based methods, a pre-requisite is the reference fingerprinting map (RFM). Many existing methods focus on how to perform the positioning assuming the beacon positions or RFM are known. However, in practical applications, determining the beacon positions or RFM in the indoor environment is normally a difficult task. This paper proposed an efficient and graph optimization-based way for estimating the beacon positions and the RFM, which combines the range-based method and the fingerprinting-based method. The method exists without need for any dedicated surveying instruments. A user equipped with a BLE-enabled mobile device walks in the region collecting inertial readings and BLE received signal strength indication (RSSI) readings. The inertial measurements are processed through the pedestrian dead reckoning (PDR) method to generate the constraints at adjacent poses. In addition, the BLE fingerprints are adopted to generate constraints between poses (with similar fingerprints) and the RSSIs are adopted to generate distance constraints between the poses and the beacon positions (according to a pre-defined path-loss model). The constraints are then adopted to form a cost function with a least square structure. By minimizing the cost function, the optimal user poses at different times and the beacon positions are estimated. In addition, the RFM can be generated through the pose estimations. Experiments are carried out, which validates that the proposed method for estimating the pre-requisites (including beacon positions and the RFM). These estimated pre-requisites are of sufficient quality for both range-based and fingerprinting-based positioning. View Full-Text
Keywords: BLE-based indoor positioning; fingerprinting; graph optimization BLE-based indoor positioning; fingerprinting; graph optimization

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Zuo, Z.; Liu, L.; Zhang, L.; Fang, Y. Indoor Positioning Based on Bluetooth Low-Energy Beacons Adopting Graph Optimization. Sensors 2018, 18, 3736.

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