Localization in wireless sensor networks: A survey on algorithms, measurement techniques, applications and challenges

Anup Kumar Paul*, Takuro Sato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Citations (Scopus)


Localization is an important aspect in the field of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) that has developed significant research interest among academia and research community. Wireless sensor network is formed by a large number of tiny, low energy, limited processing capability and low-cost sensors that communicate with each other in ad-hoc fashion. The task of determining physical coordinates of sensor nodes in WSNs is known as localization or positioning and is a key factor in today’s communication systems to estimate the place of origin of events. As the requirement of the positioning accuracy for different applications varies, different localization methods are used in different applications and there are several challenges in some special scenarios such as forest fire detection. In this paper, we survey different measurement techniques and strategies for range based and range free localization with an emphasis on the latter. Further, we discuss different localization-based applications, where the estimation of the location information is crucial. Finally, a comprehensive discussion of the challenges such as accuracy, cost, complexity, and scalability are given.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
JournalJournal of Sensor and Actuator Networks
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 27


  • Localization
  • Mobile anchor
  • Range free
  • Survey
  • Wireless sensor network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Optimization


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