Detecting movements of a target using face tracking in wireless sensor networks

Guojun Wang, Md Zakirul Alam Bhuiyan, Jiannong Cao, Jie Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Target tracking is one of the key applications of wireless sensor networks (WSNs). Existing work mostly requires organizing groups of sensor nodes with measurements of a target's movements or accurate distance measurements from the nodes to the target, and predicting those movements. These are, however, often difficult to accurately achieve in practice, especially in the case of unpredictable environments, sensor faults, etc. In this paper, we propose a new tracking framework, called FaceTrack, which employs the nodes of a spatial region surrounding a target, called a face. Instead of predicting the target location separately in a face, we estimate the target's moving toward another face. We introduce an edge detection algorithm to generate each face further in such a way that the nodes can prepare ahead of the target's moving, which greatly helps tracking the target in a timely fashion and recovering from special cases, e.g., sensor fault, loss of tracking. Also, we develop an optimal selection algorithm to select which sensors of faces to query and to forward the tracking data. Simulation results, compared with existing work, show that FaceTrack achieves better tracking accuracy and energy efficiency. We also validate its effectiveness via a proof-of-concept system of the Imote2 sensor platform.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6487500
Pages (from-to)939-949
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • edge detection
  • face tracking
  • Fault tolerance
  • sensor selection
  • target tracking
  • Wireless sensor networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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