Characterizing Human Mobility from Cellular Network Data

March 8, 2011
Time: 11:00am-12:00pm
Interschool Lab, Room 750 CEPSR
Speaker: Yury Polyanskiy, AT&T Labs


An improved understanding of human mobility patterns would yield insights into important societal issues such as the environmental impact of daily commutes. In this work, we analyze anonymized cellular network data to identify important locations in people's lives, for example home and work. Starting with temporally sparse and spatially coarse location information, we use clustering and regression to identify important places for arbitrary cellphone users. We validate our results against ground truth provided by volunteers and against census statistics. Finally, we calculate home-to-work commute distances and estimate the carbon footprints of those commutes for hundreds of thousands of anonymous users in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas.

This is joint work with Richard Becker, Sibren Isaacman, Stephen Kobourov, Margaret Martonosi, James Rowland, and Alexander Varshavsky.


Ramon Caceres is a Lead Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Labs. His research interests include mobile and pervasive computing, wireless networking, virtualization, and security. He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He was born and raised in Dominican Republic.


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