Funded Projects

Location based Services for Mobile Devices

Principal Investigator’s Organization (PIO):
Lahore University of Management Sciences
Principal Investigator (PI):
Dr. Naveed ul Hasan
Project Details:
Start Date 01-Dec-2016
Duration 18 months
Budget Rs. 10.86 million
Status On Going Project
Progress Report View Progress Report
Publications N/A
Thematic Area Telecommunication
Project Website
Executive Summary

Investment and interest in Location Based Services (LBS) is on the rise as there is a growing appetite for information that should be readily available at any location as and when required by the users. With the ability to find relevant Point of Interests (POIs) either indoors or outdoors and navigation from source till the destination, users can feel comfortable and at home in any unknown location. The existing widely used LBS applications are predominantly for outdoor environments. In outdoor environments, the use of GPS to determine user location is ubiquitous. There are several companies like Google, Apple, Garmin, etc. that provide, maintain and regularly update outdoor digital maps with complete POI information. Some of these maps are freely available and can be used to develop outdoor LBS applications. LBS applications for indoor environments however still need substantial development and hence pose greater challenges. Reliable and cost effective indoor LBS applications require precise pin-pointing of user location with minimum complexity and cost (GPS signals are relatively weak or non-existent in indoor environment), reduction in cost of indoor map provisioning and maintenance, standard naming schemes for indoor locations to enable translating indoor location coordinates into useful information and standardization to integrate third party navigation services into mobile applications. Due to these challenges, indoor LBS application development process often vary from case to case taking particular goals, available resources and other peculiarities into account. Because of major differences in a number of factors such as indoor geographic location, localization accuracy requirements and final objectives each application and development process may be unique. This project aims at research in indoor localization techniques and development of a prototype indoor LBS application. The primary objective of our LBS application will be to automatically determine user location in indoor environment (like in GPS for outdoor applications) and then guide him / her to the specified destination. This application will be developed for LUMS library building and the users will be guided to a particular book shelf. We aim to provide a localization accuracy of up to 1 m everywhere inside the building. For this purpose we will use Wi-Fi based fingerprinting technique. We will also make the LBS application development process scalable which will enable easy adaptation of our prototype application for new indoor locations simply by changing the databases containing the location maps, POIs, product information, fingerprinting maps etc. This would help in extending the developed LBS prototype for commercial purposes such as its diffusion inside big shopping malls, superstores, hospitals, etc. It should be noted that the choice of library building for prototype application development is motivated by the similarities in the navigational and localization requirements inside shopping malls and superstores where user needs guidance to localize a particular product shelf. Our research in this project will be focused on Wi-Fi based and LED based indoor localization techniques since both these techniques can re-use existing infrastructure. Reducing the labor intensiveness and exploring crowd-sourcing for fingerprinting data collection will be our main focus. We will develop several qualitative insights and guidelines to determine the relationship between localization accuracy, grid spacing, number and location of Wireless Access Points (APs) etc. The research on LED based indoor localization techniques, on the other hand, will focus on improving the localization accuracy (up to few centimeters) and proposing novel system designs which could be realized and used in future LBS applications with stringent localization requirements.