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Emergent behaviour in collaborative indoor localisation: an example of self-organisation in ubiquitous sensing systems

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsPaper


Publication date2011
Host publicationArchitecture of Computing Systems - ARCS 2011 24th International Conference, Como, Italy, February 24-25, 2011. Proceedings
EditorsMladen Berekovic , William Fornaciari, Uwe Brinkschulte , Cristina Silvano
Place of publicationBerlin, Heidelberg
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-19136-7
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


We investigate emergent effects in collaborative indoor localisation as an example of self-organisation in ubiquitous sensing systems. We consider pedestrian dead reckoning (PDR) systems that collaborate to improve their location estimate when two users are detected to be close to each other. In a simulation based on empirically determined parameters we discover two qualitatively different regimes of 'location awareness'. We show that as the frequency of collaborative improvements increases the system makes a transition from a state where the error of each device is unbounded to a state where the averaged maximum error is constant, i.e., location awareness suddenly emerges even though the individual mobile devices are by themselves not capable of exact location and have a tendency to accumulate error without bounds.