Key Words: Relative Localization


  • Theoretical (focus on mathmatical problem and proof) / Technical (focus on implementation and applications)
  • Centralized (a server aggregate information and calculate locations for targets) / Distributed (target calculate locations on their own)
  • Range-based / Range-free
  • Ranging Methods: Acoustic, Wi-Fi, BLE, ZigBee, Light


  • It seems that relative localization is a related topic to cooperative/collaborative localization.


  • Robust Distributed Network Localization with Noisy Range Measurements, [SenSys 2004]
    • Taxonomy: Distributed, Acoustic
    • Contributions: The main contribution is to estimate relative locations in presence of ranging noises.
    • Methods: Graph realization.
  • Improved MDS-Based Localization, [INFOCOM 2004]
    • Taxonomy: Theoretical (based on simulation).
    • Methods: MDS
  • SHARP: A New Approach to Relative Localization in Wireless Sensor Networks, [ICDCS 2005]
    • Taxonomy: Theoretical (based on simulation).
    • Contributions: Technically, use relative localization to find some anchor nodes, and use absolute localization to localize other nodes.
  • MARVEL : Multiple Antenna based Relative Vehicle Localizer Categories and Subject Descriptors, [MobiCom 2012]
    • Taxonomy: Technical, Wi-Fi or BLE or ZigBee
    • Contributions: Solve a specific problem (vehicle relative localization) with emerging technology (sensor and communication on smartphones)
  • High-Accuracy Differential Tracking of Low-Cost GPS Receivers, [MobiSys 2013]
    • Taxonomy: Centralized, Technical, Range-free (only relies on GPS),
    • Contributions: Technically, (1) Use GPS data for relative localization; (2) Modeling GPS errors;
    • Methods: use raw GPS to track the relative motions of neighboring nodes.
  • Accurate Real-Time Relative Localization Using Single-Frequency GPS, [SenSys 2014]
    • Same paper as MobiSys 13, High-Accuracy Differential Tracking of Low-Cost GPS Receivers.
  • On Using the Relative Configuration to Explore Cooperative Localization, [IEEE TSP 2014]
    • Taxonomy: Theoretical
    • Contributions: using a new coordinate: Procrustes coordinates
  • Relative Localization of RFID Tags using Spatial-Temporal Phase Profiling, [NSDI 2015]
    • Taxonomy: Technical, Range-free, Centralized,
    • Comments: First work on RFID relative localization.
    • Contributions:
      • Problem: Solve real-world problem (RFID tag relative localzation) without additional hardware
      • Intellectual: Use phase information for relative localization;
      • Application: Impressive applications: misplaced books and baggage order.


  • Follow that Light: Leveraging LEDs for Relative Two-Dimensional Localization, [CoNEXT 2017]
    • Taxonomy: Light
    • Contributions: Additional challenges: single, mobile anchor.


[SenSys 2004] Moore, David, John Leonard, Daniela Rus, and Seth Teller. “Robust distributed network localization with noisy range measurements.” In Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on Embedded networked sensor systems, pp. 50-61. 2004.

[INFOCOM 2004] Shang, Yi, and Wheeler Ruml. “Improved MDS-based localization.” In IEEE INFOCOM 2004, vol. 4, pp. 2640-2651. IEEE, 2004.

[ICSDS 2005] Ahmed, Ahmed A., Hongchi Shi, and Yi Shang. “Sharp: A new approach to relative localization in wireless sensor networks.” In 25th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops, pp. 892-898. IEEE, 2005.

[MobiCom 2012] Li, Dong, Tarun Bansal, Zhixue Lu, and Prasun Sinha. “Marvel: multiple antenna based relative vehicle localizer.” In Proceedings of the 18th annual international conference on Mobile computing and networking, pp. 245-256. 2012.

[MobiSys 2013] Hedgecock, Will, Miklos Maroti, Janos Sallai, Peter Volgyesi, and Akos Ledeczi. “High-accuracy differential tracking of low-cost GPS receivers.” In Proceeding of the 11th annual international conference on Mobile systems, applications, and services, pp. 221-234. 2013.

[SenSys 2014] Hedgecock, Will, Miklos Maroti, Akos Ledeczi, Peter Volgyesi, and Rueben Banalagay. “Accurate real-time relative localization using single-frequency GPS.” In Proceedings of the 12th ACM Conference on Embedded Network Sensor Systems, pp. 206-220. 2014.

[IEEE TSP 2014] Zhang, Ping, and Qiao Wang. “On using the relative configuration to explore cooperative localization.” IEEE transactions on signal processing 62, no. 4 (2014): 968-980.

[NSDI 2015] Shangguan, Longfei, Zheng Yang, Alex X. Liu, Zimu Zhou, and Yunhao Liu. “Relative localization of {RFID} tags using spatial-temporal phase profiling.” In 12th {USENIX} Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation ({NSDI} 15), pp. 251-263. 2015.

[CoNEXT 2017] Galisteo, Ander, Qing Wang, Aniruddha Deshpande, Marco Zuniga, and Domenico Giustiniano. “Follow that light: Leveraging leds for relative two-dimensional localization.” In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies, pp. 187-198. 2017.