Decimeter-Level Indoor Localization Using WiFi Round-Trip Phase and Factor Graph Optimization

Fangzhan Shi, Wenda Li, Chong Tang, Yuan Fang, Paul V. Brennan, Kevin Chetty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Indoor localization using WiFi signals has been studied since the emergence of WiFi communication. This paper presents a novel training-free approach to indoor localization using a customized WiFi protocol for data collection and a factor graph-based back-end for localization. The protocol measures the round-trip phase, which is very sensitive to small changes in displacement. This is because the sub-wavelength displacements introduce significant phase changes in WiFi signal. However, the phase cannot provide absolute range information due to angle wrap. Consequently, it can only be used for relative distance (displacement) measurement. By tracking the round-trip phase over time and unwrapping it, a relative distance measurement can be realized and achieve a mean absolute error (MAE) of 0.06m. For 2-D localization, factor graph optimization is applied to the round-trip phase measurements between the STA (station) and four APs (access points). Experiments show the proposed concept can offer a decimeter-level (0.26m MAE and 0.24m 50%CDF) performance for real-world indoor localization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-191
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • WiFi localization
  • factor graph optimization
  • round-trip phase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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