Conference Paper

Route classification using cellular handoff patterns.

DOI: 10.1145/2030112.2030130 Conference: UbiComp 2011: Ubiquitous Computing, 13th International Conference, UbiComp 2011, Beijing, China, September 17-21, 2011, Proceedings
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT Understanding utilization of city roads is important for urban planners. In this paper, we show how to use handoff patterns from cellular phone networks to identify which routes people take through a city. Specifically, this paper makes three contributions. First, we show that cellular handoff patterns on a given route are stable across a range of conditions and propose a way to measure stability within and between routes using a variant of Earth Mover's Distance. Second, we present two accurate classification algorithms for matching cellular handoff patterns to routes: one requires test drives on the routes while the other uses signal strength data collected by high-resolution scanners. Finally, we present an application of our algorithms for measuring relative volumes of traffic on routes leading into and out of a specific city, and validate our methods using statistics published by a state transportation authority.

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