Weighted optimization-based distributed Kalman filter for nonlinear target tracking in collaborative sensor networks

The identification of the nonlinearity and coupling is crucial in nonlinear target tracking problem in collaborative sensor networks. According to the adaptive Kalman filtering (KF) method, the nonlinearity and coupling can be regarded as the model noise covariance, and estimated by minimizing the innovation or residual errors of the states. However, the method requires large time window of data to achieve reliable covariance measurement, making it impractical for nonlinear systems which are rapidly changing. To deal with the problem, a weighted optimization-based distributed KF algorithm (WODKF) is proposed in this paper. The algorithm enlarges the data size of each sensor by the received measurements and state estimates from its connected sensors instead of the time window. A new cost function is set as the weighted sum of the bias and oscillation of the state to estimate the “best” estimate of the model noise covariance. The bias and oscillation of the state of each sensor are estimated by polynomial fitting a time window of state estimates and measurements of the sensor and its neighbors weighted by the measurement noise covariance. The best estimate of the model noise covariance is computed by minimizing the weighted cost function using the exhaustive method. The sensor selection method is in addition to the algorithm to decrease the computation load of the filter and increase the scalability of the sensor network. The existence, suboptimality and stability analysis of the algorithm are given. The local probability data association method is used in the proposed algorithm for the multitarget tracking case. The algorithm is demonstrated in simulations on tracking examples for a random signal, one nonlinear target, and four nonlinear targets. Results show the feasibility and superiority of WODKF against other filtering algorithms for a large class of systems.