Novel weighted ensemble classifier for smartphone based indoor localization

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Expert Systems with Applications


Indoor localization systems have the capability to change the way of providing location-based services in a closed environment. Though there is no agreed-upon technology that works best in indoor, WiFi signal is an important alternative as most of such places are covered by WiFi Access Points (APs). In this paper, the problem of indoor localization is investigated from the perspective of expert systems through applying machine learning techniques. The significant variation of WiFi signal strength with ambient conditions as well as device configuration badly affects the localization accuracy. Thus, the fingerprinting effort required to train a localization system subject to context heterogeneity is huge. The uncertainty in localization performance due to varying contexts is hardly investigated in the literature. Consequently, the main contribution of this paper is to propose a weighted ensemble classifier based on Dempster–Shafer belief theory to efficiently handle context heterogeneity. Here, the context is defined in terms of different smartphone configurations used for training and testing the system as well as temporal variation of signals. The method presented here utilizes the Dempster–Shafer theory of belief functions to calculate the weights of the base learners in the decision of the ensemble. Belief theory is applied here to handle the inherent uncertainty in WiFi signal variations due to heterogeneous context. Real life experiments are conducted for two datasets, JUIndoorLoc and UJIIndoorLoc at different granularity levels. For JUIndoorLoc, with state-of-the-art classifiers, 86–97% accuracy can be achieved for 10-fold cross-validation. However, when the training context differs from the test conditions, accuracy drops to 62–87%. In such a scenario, the proposed weighted ensemble technique is found to achieve almost 98% localization accuracy when RSSIs, mean and variance of RSSIs are considered as features. The technique can lead to an effective expert system for indoor localization at varying granularity levels. Such systems would be beneficial for pervasive indoor positioning applications as no dedicated infrastructure is needed for positioning.



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