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A Compressive Sensing Approach to Detect the Proximity Between Smartphones and BLE Beacons
Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons have been widely deployed to deliver proximity-based services (PBSs) to user's smartphones when users are in the proximity of a beacon. Conventional proximity detection simply uses the received signal strength (RSS) to infer the proximity, and then retrieves the PBS by mapping the beacon ID with the corresponding service in the cloud database. Such an approach suffers two major issues: 1) the severe RSS fluctuation might confuse the smartphone during the detection and 2) a malicious PBS can be delivered by manipulating the same beacon ID. This paper proposes RF fingerprinting to label a beacon with an N-dimensional fingerprint vector, which consists of N RSS values from N deployed beacons. The contribution of our proposed method is twofold: 1) we infer the proximity based on the fingerprint vector instead of relying solely on the single RSS value and 2) we retrieve the PBS by mapping the fingerprint vector instead of the hard-coded beacon ID. The challenge with our proposed approach is the incomplete fingerprint observation during real-time detection, resulting in an underdetermined proximity detection problem. To this end, we exploit the compressive sensing (CS) approach based on the differential evolutional algorithm to address such an underdetermined problem. Extensive simulations with realworld datasets show that our proposed approach outperforms the legacy machine learning techniques with substantial performance gains.
Journal/Conference/Book titleIEEE Internet of Things Journal