Self-organising an indoor location system using a paintable amorphous computer

Revill, John David (2007) Self-organising an indoor location system using a paintable amorphous computer University of Southampton, School of Electronics and Computer Science, Doctoral Thesis , 164pp.


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This thesis investigates new methods for self-organising a precisely defined pattern of intertwined number sequences which may be used in the rapid deployment of a passive indoor positioning system's infrastructure.
A future hypothetical scenario is used where computing particles are suspended in paint and covered over a ceiling. A spatial pattern is then formed over the covered ceiling. Any small portion of the spatial pattern may be decoded, by a simple camera equipped device, to provide a unique location to support location-aware pervasive computing applications.
Such a pattern is established from the interactions of many thousands of locally connected computing particles that are disseminated randomly and densely over a surface, such as a ceiling. Each particle has initially no knowledge of its location or network topology and shares no synchronous clock or memory with any other particle.
The challenge addressed within this thesis is how such a network of computing particles that begin in such an initial state of disarray and ignorance can, without outside intervention or expensive equipment, collaborate to create a relative coordinate system. It shows how the coordinate system can be created to be coherent, even in the face of obstacles, and closely represent the actual shape of the networked surface itself. The precision errors incurred during the propagation of the coordinate system are identified and the distributed algorithms used to avoid this error are explained and demonstrated through simulation.
A new perimeter detection algorithm is proposed that discovers network edges and other obstacles without the use of any existing location knowledge. A new distributed localisation algorithm is demonstrated to propagate a relative coordinate system throughout the network and remain free of the error introduced by the network perimeter that is normally seen in non-convex networks. This localisation algorithm operates without prior configuration or calibration, allowing the coordinate system to be deployed without expert manual intervention or on networks that are otherwise inaccessible.
The painted ceiling's spatial pattern, when based on the proposed localisation algorithm, is discussed in the context of an indoor positioning system.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Organisations: University of Southampton
ePrint ID: 66799
Date :
Date Event
June 2007Published
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2009
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 21:30
Further Information:Google Scholar

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