Open Access

Exploring Landmark Placement Strategies for Topology-Based Localization in Wireless Sensor Networks

  • Farid Benbadis1Email author,
  • Katia Obraczka2,
  • Jorge Cortés3 and
  • Alexandre Brandwajn2
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20072008:275658

Received: 31 March 2007

Accepted: 21 December 2007

Published: 31 December 2007


In topology-based localization, each node in a network computes its hop-count distance to a finite number of reference nodes, or "landmarks". This paper studies the impact of landmark placement on the accuracy of the resulting coordinate systems. The coordinates of each node are given by the hop-count distance to the landmarks. We show analytically that placing landmarks on the boundary of the topology yields more accurate coordinate systems than when landmarks are placed in the interior. Moreover, under some conditions, we show that uniform landmark deployment on the boundary is optimal. This work is also the first empirical study to consider not only uniform, synthetic topologies, but also nonuniform topologies resembling more concrete deployments. Our simulation results show that, in general, if enough landmarks are used, random landmark placement yields comparative performance to placing landmarks on the boundary randomly or equally spaced. This is an important result since boundary placement, especially at equal distances, may turn out to be infeasible and/or prohibitively expensive (in terms of communication, processing overhead, and power consumption) in networks of nodes with limited capabilities.


Coordinate SystemPower ConsumptionSensor NetworkWireless Sensor NetworkQuantum Information

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Authors’ Affiliations

Laboratoire LIP6/CNRS, UMR 7606, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
Department of Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, San Diego, USA


© Farid Benbadis et al. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.