UAVs using Bayesian Optimization to LocateWiFi Devices

We address the problem of localizing non-collaborative WiFi devices in a large region. Our main motive is to localize humans by localizing their WiFi devices, e.g. during search-and-rescue operations after a natural disaster. We use an active sensing approach that relies on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to collect signal-strength measurements at informative locations. The problem is challenging since the measurement is received at arbitrary times and they are received only when the UAV is in close proximity to the device. For these reasons, it is extremely important to make prudent decision with very few measurements. We use the Bayesian optimization approach based on Gaussian process (GP) regression. This approach works well for our application since GPs give reliable predictions with very few measurements while Bayesian optimization makes a judicious trade-off between exploration and exploitation. In field experiments conducted over a region of 1000 × 1000 m2, we show that our approach reduces the search area to less than 100 meters around the WiFi device within 5 minutes only. Overall, our approach localizes the device in less than 15 minutes with an error of less than 20 meters.

Presented at:
Bayesopt 2015, Montreal, Canada, December 12, 2015

 Record created 2015-12-15, last modified 2018-12-03

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