SignalSLAM: Simultaneous Localization and Mapping with Mixed WiFi, Bluetooth, LTE and Magnetic Signals

Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation (IPIN), 2013

Example of map of LTE 4G signal strength after reconstructing the trajectories of freely moving experimenters walking inside a building.

Indoor localization typically relies on measuring a collection of RF signals, such as Received Signal Strength (RSS) from WiFi, in conjunction with spatial maps of signal fingerprints. A new technology for localization could arise with the use of 4G LTE telephony small cells, with limited range but with rich signal strength information, namely Reference Signal Received Power (RSRP). In this paper, we propose to combine an ensemble of available sources of RF signals to build multi-modal signal maps that can be used for localization or for network deployment optimization. We primarily rely on Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), which provides a solution to the challenge of building a map of observations without knowing the location of the observer. SLAM has recently been extended to incorporate signal strength from WiFi in the so-called WiFiSLAM. In parallel to WiFi-SLAM, other localization algorithms have been developed that exploit the inertial motion sensors and a known map of either WiFi RSS or of magnetic field magnitude. In our study, we use all the measurements that can be acquired by an off-the-shelf smartphone and crowd-source the data collection from several experimenters walking freely through a building, collecting time-stamped WiFi and Bluetooth RSS, 4G LTE RSRP, magnetic field magnitude, GPS reference points when outdoors, Near-Field Communication (NFC) readings at specific landmarks and pedestrian dead reckoning based on inertial data. We resolve
the location of all the users using a modified version of GraphSLAM optimization of the users poses with a collection of absolute location and pairwise constraints that incorporates multi-modal signal similarity. We demonstrate that we can recover the user positions and thus simultaneously generate dense signal maps for each WiFi access point and 4G LTE small cell, “from the pocket”. Finally, we demonstrate the localization performance using selected single modalities, such as only WiFi and the WiFi signal maps that we generated.

Paper link: Citeseerx.