, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 274-297
Date: 16 Mar 2010

Location, Localization, and Localizability

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Location-aware technology spawns numerous unforeseen pervasive applications in a wide range of living, production, commence, and public services. This article provides an overview of the location, localization, and localizability issues of wireless ad-hoc and sensor networks. Making data geographically meaningful, location information is essential for many applications, and it deeply aids a number of network functions, such as network routing, topology control, coverage, boundary detection, clustering, etc. We investigate a large body of existing localization approaches with focuses on error control and network localizability, the two rising aspects that attract significant research interests in recent years. Error control aims to alleviate the negative impact of noisy ranging measurement and the error accumulation effect during cooperative localization process. Network localizability provides theoretical analysis on the performance of localization approaches, providing guidance on network configuration and adjustment. We emphasize the basic principles of localization to understand the state-of-the-art and to address directions of future research in the new and largely open areas of location-aware technologies.