Inferring Stop-Locations from WiFi

David Kofoed Wind, Piotr Sapiezynski, Magdalena Anna Furman, Sune Lehmann Jørgensen

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Human mobility patterns are inherently complex. In terms of understanding these patterns, the process of converting raw data into series of stop-locations and transitions is an important first step which greatly reduces the volume of data, thus simplifying the subsequent analyses. Previous research into the mobility of individuals has focused on inferring 'stop locations' (places of stationarity) from GPS or CDR data, or on detection of state (static/active). In this paper we bridge the gap between the two approaches: we introduce methods for detecting both mobility state and stop-locations. In addition, our methods are based exclusively on WiFi data. We study two months of WiFi data collected every two minutes by a smartphone, and infer stop-locations in the form of labelled time-intervals. For this purpose, we investigate two algorithms, both of which scale to large datasets: a greedy approach to select the most important routers and one which uses a density-based clustering algorithm to detect router fingerprints. We validate our results using participants' GPS data as well as ground truth data collected during a two month period.
Original languageEnglish
Article number e0149105
JournalP L o S One
Issue number2
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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