Target tracking via crowdsourcing: A mechanism design approach

Nianxia Cao, Swastik Brahma, Pramod K. Varshney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a crowdsourcing-based framework for myopic target tracking by designing an optimal incentive-compatible mechanism in a wireless sensor network (WSN) containing sensors that are selfish and profit-motivated. In typical WSNs which have limited bandwidth, the fusion center (FC) has to distribute the total number of bits that can be transmitted from the sensors to the FC among the sensors. In the formulation considered here, the FC conducts an auction by soliciting bids from the selfish sensors, which reflect how much they value their energy cost. Furthermore, the rationality and truthfulness of the sensors are guaranteed in our model. The final problem is formulated as a multiple-choice knapsack problem (MCKP), which is solved by the dynamic programming method in pseudo-polynomial time. Simulation results show the effectiveness of our proposed approach in terms of both the tracking performance and lifetime of the sensor network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7027816
Pages (from-to)1464-1476
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2015


  • Auctions
  • bandwidth allocation
  • crowdsourcing
  • dynamic programming
  • incentive-compatible mechanism design
  • multiple-choice knapsack problem
  • target tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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