Sensor selection based on generalized information gain for target tracking in large sensor networks

Xiaojing Shen, Pramod K. Varshney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


In this paper, sensor selection problems for target tracking in large sensor networks with linear equality or inequality constraints are considered. First, we derive an equivalent Kalman filter for sensor selection, i.e., generalized information filter. Then, under a regularity condition, we prove that the multistage look-ahead policy that minimizes either the final or the average estimation error covariances of next multiple time steps is equivalent to a myopic sensor selection policy that maximizes the trace of the generalized information gain at each time step. Moreover, when the measurement noises are uncorrelated between sensors, the optimal solution can be obtained analytically for sensor selection when constraints are temporally separable. When constraints are temporally inseparable, sensor selections can be obtained by approximately solving a linear programming problem so that the sensor selection problem for a large sensor network can be dealt with quickly. Although there is no guarantee that the gap between the performance of the chosen subset and the performance bound is always small, numerical examples suggest that the algorithm is near-optimal in many cases. Finally, when the measurement noises are correlated between sensors, the sensor selection problem with temporally inseparable constraints can be relaxed to a Boolean quadratic programming problem which can be efficiently solved by a Gaussian randomization procedure along with solving a semi-definite programming problem. Numerical examples show that the proposed method is much better than the method that ignores dependence of noises.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2289881
Pages (from-to)363-375
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2014


  • Generalized information gain
  • Sensor networks
  • Sensor selection
  • Target tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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