My (mostly technical) blog

Indoor Localization using Wireless LAN/WiFi Infrastructure

Posted on: October 20, 2008

This was my bachelor thesis that I have done as part of my studies for a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the German University in Cairo.

Download presentation:
Indoor Localization Using Wireless LAN/WiFi Infrastructure

Download thesis:
Indoor Localization using Wireless LAN/WiFi Infrastructure

The rapid advances in wireless technology as well as in the manufacturing of portable devices caused a growing interest in location aware services. A location sensing
system responsible for locating a mobile user, is a crucial factor for the success of such services. With the prevalence of wireless hotspots and wireless area networks, the use of a wireless network infrastructure as basis for an indoor positioning system becomes a viable option. In this work, we propose an indoor guide system that provides information about points of interest and objects within the vicinity of the user. Our system can be deployed on a university campus or inside a museum equipped with a wireless network.

The system uses the fingerprinting technique to associate position dependent information such as the strength of the received signal with a location. A range based matching algorithm for matching the physical signal strength with the fingerprints in the database is used and its performance is compared to an Euclidean distance based matching algorithm. The properties of the wireless signals and their distribution under several controlled experiments are analyzed.


12 Responses to "Indoor Localization using Wireless LAN/WiFi Infrastructure"

Hi Sabbour,

Thanks for the comment, you might want to take a look at this paper if you haven’t already:

Kushki, Azadeh; Plataniotis, Konstantinos N.; Venetsanopoulos, Anastasios N. Kernel-Based Positioning in Wireless Local Area Networks. Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on Volume 6, Issue 6, June 2007 Page(s):689 – 705.

Yours is an interesting approach, we haven’t tried a filtering algorithm for data collection. Seems like your doing so makes the data much more uniform and saves having to work with an unnecessarily large vector later on — will have to try that too 🙂

Thanks so much for your work on this paper. I read it yesterday and greatly appreciated all the work you did explaining background information and other approaches.

Thank you for making it available and all your hard work.


I’m a student of Computer Science University of Naples, Italy.
I’m working on a project that needs indoor mobile localization and I found your thesis.
I’m interested about this algorithm and I need some informations and code to use it inside my project.

Please answer as soon as possible,


Gianluca Cacace

Good idea, i have few questions for u
Have u used commercial AP for localization, which ones? what is the sensitivity (in dBm)?
I’m trying now to use WiFi timing information instead of RSSI have u tried that approach? what is ur opinion

Hi Ahmed,

Mind explaining your approach of using WiFi timing? Are you trying to get timing from an AP side, or from a station side? How do you make the two accurately synchronized and what is the timing resolution of your hardware? As far as I’m concerned, commercial WiFi routers only supports timing resolution up 1 micro second, equivalent of 300m range resolution.

I don’t use timing at all. I use a fingerprint of the RSSI at different locations in order to estimate the location.

I used the APs installed at the university, as far as I remember they were 3Com.

As for WiFi timing, my background research on the topic highlighted that using timing wouldn’t be accurate enough as the resolution of available commercial access points is not enough to use, Time Difference of Arrival methods for example.

hi .. nice work
can i get the source code of how to fetch the wifi RSSI using java

Hi Sabbour,
Having read most part of your thesis, I came to conclusion, you did a great job. Am doing my thesis work on this localization field, evaluating two commercial localization systems, one use RSS method while the main focus is the other one which uses TDOA mechanism. Do you have any idea on the metrics to properly evaluate the localization in RSS or TDOA? TDoA concepts and principles? Or any materials, suggestion that could help in this work.

Thanks for your time and assistance..

Is this an open source project?

Unfortunately it isn’t. That was my graduation project.

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