Accurate indoor localization has the potential to transform the way people navigate indoors in a similar way that GPS transformed the way people navigate outdoors. Over the last 15 years, several indoor localization technologies have been proposed and experimented by both academia and industry, but we have yet to see large scale deployments. This competition aims to bring together real-time or near real-time indoor location technologies and compare their performance in the same space.
Both academia and industry submissions are encouraged. All location techniques, such as ranging, fingerprinting, infrastructure, or device free, are welcome, except those that require end users’ manual measurements. Contesters can deploy their own infrastructure of up to 10 devices (this number is tentative and it will be finalized after the submission deadline). Normal RF interference is expected, but no jammers from other deployments are allowed. The results must be shown on a portable device, such as a phone or a tablet/laptop that a person can easily carry around.
Demo submissions that do not meet one or more of the guidelines above will be included in the poster session and will be evaluated as a regular submission, but they will not be considered for prizes.
The competition will take place if at least 5 teams respond to this preliminary call for competition.
Depending on the nature and number of submissions multiple categories might be defined based on the accuracy (i.e., point-based vs. area based), the size, the cost, or the type (i.e., software vs. hardware) of the proposed solution.
Given our past experience, this year we expect to have the following categories (note that these categories have not been finalized. The final categories will be announced shortly after the registration deadline and they will depend on the number and type of submissions received):
- Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Technologies: Submissions in this category should be able to work with unmodified commercial off-the-shelf devices such as laptops, phones, and tablets. In this category, the unmodified COTS device is localized. Teams in this category will not be allowed to interface any custom hardware to the COTS devices (i.e., UWB or ultrasound hardware). Only changes to the software of the devices will be allowed. Submissions in this category could be further classified to infrastructure-based and infrastructure-free depending on their requirement to deploy custom hardware (i.e., BLE beacons) in the evaluation area.
- Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Technologies with Initialization: Submissions in this category should meet all the criteria of the COTS Technologies category, with the additional requirement to initialize the location of the COTS device being localized to a ground truth location before the evaluation.
- Modified Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Technologies: Submissions in this category could interface custom hardware to the COTS devices to be localized (i.e., UWB or ultrasound hardware). Submissions in this category could be further classified to infrastructure-based and infrastructure-free depending on their requirement to deploy custom hardware (i.e., BLE beacons) in the evaluation area. Most, if not all, submissions in this category are expected to be infrastructure-based.
- WiFi fingerprinting approaches that also leverage inertial sensors will be classified as infrastructure-free COTS Technologies as they do not require to interface any custom hardware to the COTS device being localized.
- WiFi fingerprinting approaches that also deploy custom BLE beacons in the evaluation area will be classified as infrastructure-based COTS Technologies as they don’t modify the COTS device being localized, but they require the deployment of custom hardware.
- Approaches based on inertial sensing that require to be initialized to a ground truth location before being evaluated will be classified as COTS Technologies with Initialization.
- UWB approaches will be classified as infrastructure-based modified COTS Technologies as they require modifications to the COTS device being localized, and they need to deploy custom hardware in the evaluation area.
In this year’s competition, teams will be required to report 3D locations (X,Y,Z). The evaluation area we have reserved, even though it does not contain multiple floors, it includes locations with different elevation characteristics. On top of that, we plan to place the devices to be localized at different heights during the competition to evaluate the 3D localization accuracy of each team.
Not all teams will have to report 3D locations. We understand that some technologies are not suited for 3D localization (i.e., WiFi/geo-magnetic fingerprinting, dead reckoning, BLE-based etc.), but they are still excellent candidates for commercial indoor location systems. With this in mind, the organizers will determine shortly after the registration deadline which teams will be classified as 3D localization teams. It is not up to the individual teams to decide if they will report 2D or 3D locations. The organizers will ensure that all the teams in a given category will either report 2D or 3D locations. There will be no categories containing both 2D and 3D localization teams.
Results are judged based on accuracy, and an award will be given to the top 3 teams in each category. When accuracy ties, infrastructure requirements will be used for tie breaking. The winning teams in each category will be invited to present their approach at the conference, and receive a cash award. The exact accuracy metrics that will be used during evaluation will be announced shortly before the competition takes place.
A poster session dedicated to all competition participants will be organized during the conference. Participants will have the opportunity to explain their system to conference attendees.
Contesters must submit an abstract describing their approach and deployment requirements by the contest registration deadline. Submissions are treated as confidential until the competition. Submissions must be at most two (2) single-spaced 8.5″ x 11″ pages, including figures, tables, and references. Submission should follow the exact same format as regular, full IPSN 2017 papers. Abstracts should include the names and affiliations of all authors. Templates can be found here. Abstracts should be sent over email to: firstname.lastname@example.org on or before January 27th 2017 with the following subject line: 2017 Microsoft Indoor Localization Competition Submission.