On a Stochastic Sensor Selection Algorithm with Applications in Sensor Scheduling and Sensor Coverage

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Vijay Gupta, Timothy H. Chung, Babak Hassibi, Richard M.Murray
Submitted, Automatica, September 2004

In this note we consider the following problem. Suppose a set of sensors is jointly trying to estimate a process. One sensor takes a measurement at every time step and the measurements are then exchanged among all the sensors. What is the sensor schedule that results in the mininmum error covariance? We describe a stoachastic sensor selection strategy that is easy to implement and is computationally tractable. The problem described above comes up in many domains out of which we discuss two. In the sensor selection problem, there are multiple sensors that cannot operate simultaneously (eg, sonars in the same frequency band). Thus measurements need to be scheduled. In the sensor coverage problem, a geographical area needs to be covered by mobile sensors each with limited range. Thus from every position, the sensors obtain a different viewpoint of the area and the sensors need to optimize their positions. The algorithm is applied to these problems and illustrated through simple examples.