Impact of in-network aggregation on target tracking quality under network delays

Wei Wei, Ting He, Chatschik Bisdikian, Dennis Goeckel, Bo Jiang, Lance Kaplan, Don Towsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this paper, we investigate how in-network aggregation approach impacts the target tracking quality in multi-hop wireless sensor networks under network delays. Specifically, we use the mean squared error (MSE) of the target location estimate to quantify the target tracking quality, and investigate how in-network aggregation affects the MSE. To obtain insights without being obscured by onerous mathematical details, we assume a Brownian motion mobility model for the target, Gaussian measurement noise for the sensors, and independent per-hop delays. Under the above assumptions, we first propose an aggregation scheme that preserves a sufficient statistic for optimal tracking under data aggregation at the intermediate nodes and arbitrary network delays. We then analytically study the impact of aggregation in three increasingly more complicated scenarios: single task tracking with only transmission delay, single task tracking with both transmission delay and queueing delay at intermediate nodes, and multi-task tracking. Our results demonstrate that in-network aggregation improves tracking quality in all three scenarios. Furthermore, our analysis provides guidelines on how to choose aggregation parameters in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6481632
Pages (from-to)808-818
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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