Statistical signal processing in sensor networks

Date of Completion

January 2009


Engineering, Aerospace|Engineering, Electronics and Electrical




In this dissertation we focus on decentralized signal processing in Sensor Networks (SN). Four topics are studied: (i) Direction of Arrival (DOA) estimation using a Wireless Sensor network (WSN), (ii) multiple target tracking in large SN, (iii) decentralized target detection in SN and (iv) decentralized sequential detection in SN with communication constraints. The first topic of this thesis addresses the problem of estimating the DOA of an acoustic wavefront using a a WSN made of isotropic (hence individually useless) sensors. The WSN was designed according to the SENMA (SEnsor Network with Mobile Agents) architecture with a mobile agent (MA) that successively queries the sensors lying inside its field of view. We propose both fast/simple and optimal DOA-estimation schemes, and an optimization of the MAs observation management is also carried out, with the surprising finding that the MA ought to orient itself at an oblique angle to the expected DOA, rather than directly toward it. We also consider the extension to multiple sources; intriguingly, per-source DOA accuracy is higher when there is more than one source. In all cases, performance is investigated by simulation and compared, when appropriate, with asymptotic bounds; these latter are usually met after a moderate number of MA dwells. In the second topic, we study the problem of tracking multiple targets in large SN. While these networks hold significant potential for surveillance, it is of interest to address fundamental limitations in large-scale implementations. We first introduce a simple analytical tracker performance model. Analysis of this model suggests that scan-based tracking performance improves with increasing numbers of sensors, but only to a certain point beyond which degradation is observed. Correspondingly, we address model-based optimization of the local sensor detection threshold and the number of sensors. Next, we propose a two-stage tracking approach (fuse-before-track) as a possible approach to overcoming the difficulties in large-sensor surveillance, and we illustrate promising performance results with simulated surveillance data. The third topic of this dissertation deals with distributed target detection in SN using Scan Statistics. We introduce a sequential procedure to detect a target with distributed sensors in a two dimensional region. The detection is carried out in a mobile fusion center which successively counts the number of binary decisions reported by local sensors lying inside its moving field of view. This is a two-dimensional scan statistic an emerging tool from the statistics field that has been applied to a variety of anomaly detection problems such as of epidemics or computer intrusion, but that seems to be unfamiliar to the signal processing community. We show that an optimal size of the field of view exists. We compare the sequential two-dimensional scan statistic test and two other tests. We also present results for system level detection. In the last topic we study a Repeated Significance Test (RST) with applications to sequential detection in SN. We introduce a randomly truncated sequential hypothesis test. Using the framework of a RST, we study a sequential test with truncation time based on a random stopping time. Using the Functional Central Limit Theorem (FCLT) for a sequence of statistics, we derive a general result that can be employed in developing a repeated significance test with random sample size. We present effective methods for evaluating accurate approximations for the probability of type I error and the power function. Numerical results are presented to evaluate the accuracy of these approximations. We apply the proposed test to a decentralized sequential detection in sensor networks (SN) with communication constraints. Finally a sequential detection problem with measurements at random times is investigated. ^