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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4525380, 16 pages
Research Article

LEA: An Algorithm to Estimate the Level of Location Exposure in Infrastructure-Based Wireless Networks

1Department of Telecommunications Engineering, National Autonomous University of Mexico, 04510 Mexico City, Mexico
2Department of Electrical Engineering, Metropolitan Autonomous University, Iztapalapa, 09340 Mexico City, Mexico

Correspondence should be addressed to Francisco Garcia; xm.manu.samii.2ccmxu@jaicragl

Received 14 August 2016; Revised 20 December 2016; Accepted 4 January 2017; Published 26 February 2017

Academic Editor: Carlos T. Calafate

Copyright © 2017 Francisco Garcia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Location privacy in wireless networks is nowadays a major concern. This is due to the fact that the mere fact of transmitting may allow a network to pinpoint a mobile node. We consider that a first step to protect a mobile node in this situation is to provide it with the means to quantify how accurately a network establishes its position. To achieve this end, we introduce the location-exposure algorithm (LEA), which runs on the mobile terminal only and whose operation consists of two steps. In the first step, LEA discovers the positions of nearby network nodes and uses this information to emulate how they estimate the position of the mobile node. In the second step, it quantifies the level of exposure by computing the distance between the position estimated in the first step and its true position. We refer to these steps as a location-exposure problem. We tested our proposal with simulations and testbed experiments. These results show the ability of LEA to reproduce the location of the mobile node, as seen by the network, and to quantify the level of exposure. This knowledge can help the mobile user decide which actions should be performed before transmitting.