Distributed localization with complemented RSS and AOA measurements: Theory and methods

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Remarkable progress in radio frequency and micro-electro-mechanical systems integrated circuit design over the last two decades has enabled the use of wireless sensor networks with thousands of nodes. It is foreseen that the fifth generation of networks will provide significantly higher bandwidth and faster data rates with potential for interconnecting myriads of heterogeneous devices (sensors, agents, users, machines, and vehicles) into a single network (of nodes), under the notion of Internet of Things. The ability to accurately determine the physical location of each node (stationary or moving) will permit rapid development of new services and enhancement of the entire system. In outdoor environments, this could be achieved by employing global navigation satellite system (GNSS) which offers a worldwide service coverage with good accuracy. However, installing a GNSS receiver on each device in a network with thousands of nodes would be very expensive in addition to energy constraints. Besides, in indoor or obstructed environments (e.g., dense urban areas, forests, and canyons) the functionality of GNSS is limited to non-existing, and alternative methods have to be adopted. Many of the existing alternative solutions are centralized, meaning that there is a sink in the network that gathers all information and executes all required computations. This approach quickly becomes cumbersome as the number of nodes in the network grows, creating bottle-necks near the sink and high computational burden. Therefore, more effective approaches are needed. As such, this work presents a survey (from a signal processing perspective) of existing distributed solutions, amalgamating two radio measurements, received signal strength (RSS) and angle of arrival (AOA), which seem to have a promising partnership. The present article illustrates the theory and offers an overview of existing RSS-AOA distributed solutions, as well as their analysis from both localization accuracy and computational complexity points of view. Finally, the article identifies potential directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number272
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Angle of arrival (AOA)
  • Distributed localization
  • Fifth generation (5G)
  • hybrid localization
  • Internet of Things (IOT)
  • Received signal strength (RSS)
  • Wireless sensor network (WSN)


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