Occupancy Estimation with Wireless Monitoring Devices and Application-Specific Antennas

Pranay Eedara, Hai Li, Nagaraj Janakiraman, N. R.Anudeep Tungala, Jean Francois Chamberland, Gregory H. Huff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The rapid proliferation of wireless devices offers new means to infer current conditions surrounding mobile users, their locations, and their actions. This is especially true for industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) radio bands where communication protocols are often open and information about neighboring devices abounds. This paper examines efficient occupancy estimation based on Wi-Fi metadata, with an emphasis on algorithms attuned to directional antenna technology. Certain Wi-Fi interfaces can be switched into monitoring mode, an operating state where all local packets are observed and recorded. Using a network of such monitoring sensors, it is then possible to estimate the number of active devices within a specific area. The envisioned estimators take as input received signal strength indicators and media access control addresses. By using directional monitoring antennas, one can gain additional and/or more discriminating information about current conditions, thereby yielding enhanced occupancy estimates. This paper introduces novel estimation algorithms and characterizes the performance gains associated with RF-aware sensing devices. Experimental results based on a prototype implementation of this distributed monitoring system provide further supporting evidence for the proposed techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7809158
Pages (from-to)2123-2135
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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