Sensor deployment for network-like environments

Luca Greco, Matteo Gaeta, Benedetto Piccoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


This technical note considers the problem of optimally deploying omnidirectional sensors, with potentially limited sensing radius, in a network-like environment. This model provides a compact and effective description of complex environments as well as a proper representation of road or river networks. We present a two-step procedure based on a discrete-time gradient ascent algorithm to find a local optimum for this problem. The first step performs a coarse optimization where sensors are allowed to be clustered, to move in the plane, to vary their sensing radius and to make use of a reduced model of the environment called collapsed network. The sensors' positions found in the first step are then projected on the network and used in the second finer optimization, where sensors are constrained to move only on the network. The second step can be performed online, in a distributed fashion, by sensors moving in the real environment, and can make use of the full network as well as of the collapsed one. The adoption of a less constrained initial optimization has the merit of reducing the negative impact of the presence of a large number of local optima. The effectiveness of the presented procedure is illustrated by a simulated deployment problem in an airport environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5504032
Pages (from-to)2580-2585
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Gradient-like algorithm
  • network-like environment
  • optimal deployment
  • sensor networks

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