Offloading Positioning onto Network Edge
(From the article abstract)
While satellite or cellular positioning implies dedicated hardware or network infrastructure functions, indoor navigation or novel IoT positioning techniques include flexible storage and computation requirements that can be fulfilled by both end-devices or cloud backends. Hybrid positioning systems support the integration of several algorithms and technologies; however, the common trend of delegating position calculation and storage of local geoinformation to mobile devices or centralized servers causes performance degradation in terms of delay, battery usage and waste of network resources.
The strategy followed in this work is off-loading this computational effort onto the network edge, following a Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) approach. MEC nodes in the access network of the mobile device are in charge of receiving navigation data coming from both the smart infrastructure and mobile devices, in order to compute the final position following a hybrid approach. With the aim of supporting mobility and the access to multiple networks, an Information Centric Networking (ICN) solution is used to access generic position information resources.
The presented system currently supports WiFi, Bluetooth LE, GPS, cellular and NFC technologies, involving both indoor and outdoor positioning, using fingerprinting and proximity for indoor navigation, and the integration of smart infrastructure data sources such as the door opening system within real smart campus deployment.
Evaluations carried out reveal latency improvements of 50%, compared with a regular configuration where position fixes are computed by mobile devices; at the same time the MEC solution offers extra flexibility features to manage positioning databases, algorithms and move extensive computation from constrained devices to the edge.