Zero-error target tracking with limited communication

Hua Li, Patricia Barbosa, Edwin Chong, Jan Hannig, Sanjeev Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We study the problem of target tracking in a sensor network environment. In particular, we consider a target that moves according to a Markov chain, and a tracker that queries sets of sensors to obtain tracking information. We are interested in finding the minimum number of queries per time step such that a target is trackable under three different requirements. First we investigate the case where the tracker is required to know the exact location of the target at each time step. We then relax this requirement and explore the case where the tracker may lose track of the target at a given time step, but it is able to catch-up at a later time, regaining up-to-date information about the target's track. Finally, we consider the case where tracking information is only known after a delay of d time steps. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions on the number of queries per time step to track in the above three cases. These conditions are stated in terms of the entropy rate of the target's Markov chain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4497793
Pages (from-to)686-694
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Adaptive sensing
  • Causal source coding
  • Entropy rate
  • Huffman coding
  • Markov chain
  • Target tracking


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