A distributed Monte Carlo method for initializing state vector distributions in heterogeneous smart sensor networks
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The objective of this research is to demonstrate how an underlying system's state vector distribution can be determined in a distributed heterogeneous sensor network with reduced subspace observability at the individual nodes. We show how the network, as a whole, is capable of observing the target state vector even if the individual nodes are not capable of observing it locally. The initialization algorithm presented in this work can generate the initial state vector distribution for networks with a variety of sensor types as long as the measurements at the individual nodes are known functions of the target state vector. Initialization is accomplished through a novel distributed implementation of the particle filter that involves serial particle proposal and weighting strategies, which can be accomplished without sharing raw data between individual nodes in the network. The algorithm is capable of handling missed detections and clutter as well as compensating for delays introduced by processing, communication and finite signal propagation velocities. If multiple events of interest occur, their individual states can be initialized simultaneously without requiring explicit data association across nodes. The resulting distributions can be used to initialize a variety of distributed joint tracking algorithms. In such applications, the initialization algorithm can initialize additional target tracks as targets come and go during the operation of the system with multiple targets under track.