Improving BLE Beacon Proximity Estimation Accuracy through Bayesian Filtering

by   Andrew Mackey, et al.

The interconnectedness of all things is continuously expanding which has allowed every individual to increase their level of interaction with their surroundings. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are used in a plethora of context-aware application such as Proximity-Based Services (PBS), and Location-Based Services (LBS). For these systems to perform, it is essential to have reliable hardware and predict a user's position in the area with high accuracy in order to differentiate between individuals in a small area. A variety of wireless solutions that utilize Received Signal Strength Indicators (RSSI) have been proposed to provide PBS and LBS for indoor environments, though each solution presents its own drawbacks. In this work, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons are examined in terms of their accuracy in proximity estimation. Specifically, a mobile application is developed along with three Bayesian filtering techniques to improve the BLE beacon proximity estimation accuracy. This includes a Kalman filter, a particle filter, and a Non-parametric Information (NI) filter. Since the RSSI is heavily influenced by the environment, experiments were conducted to examine the performance of beacons from three popular vendors in two different environments. The error is compared in terms of Mean Absolute Error (MAE) and Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE). According to the experimental results, Bayesian filters can improve proximity estimation accuracy up to 30 filtering, when the beacon and the receiver are within 3 m.


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