Acoustic-Sensing-Based Location Semantics Identification Using Smartphones

Chen Chen, Yanzhi Ren, Hongbo Liu, Yingying Chen, Hongwei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The location awareness becomes increasingly important as mobile devices such as smartphones are used extensively in our daily lives. Existing indoor localization solutions either require certain preinstalled infrastructures or add-on devices, which could not provide a location semantics identification service for smartphones to infer both type and size of a geographic location. In this work, we propose a new active sensing system that enables smartphones to identify its location semantics without requiring any additional infrastructure. The main idea behind our system is to utilize the acoustic signatures, which are derived from the smartphone by emitting a predesigned beep signal and identifying two echo sets which correspond to sidewalls and other static objects respectively, as the proof to achieve both spatial size estimation and room-type prediction simultaneously for indoor location semantics identification. Given the microphone samplings, our system designs a correlation-based scheme to identify beginning points of echoes corresponding to static reflectors accurately from the received signal. To achieve an accurate location semantics identification, we develop a new echo selection scheme to discriminate echoes created by sidewalls and other static reflectors by utilizing the geometrical relationships between the delays of echoes. To deal with the varying number of identified echoes, our location semantics prediction scheme then derives histograms from echo sets and adopt a deep-learning-based classifier to determine the current location semantics. Our experimental results show that our proposed system is accurate and robust for location semantics identification under various real-world scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20640-20650
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Location semantics identification
  • smartphone


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