Leveraging Human Mobility in Smartphone Based Ad-Hoc Information Distribution in Crowd Management Scenarios

Abstract: We propose a novel approach for Ad-Hoc WiFi based distribution of information within large crowds of mobile users. The work is motivated by civil protection scenarios where infrastructure based communication often breaks down in cases of emergency. We follow a basic opportunistic networking approach by making use of the smartphones’ built-in WiFi hotspot functionality which in combination with the devices switching between access point and client modes facilitates the propagation of messages on a multi-hop basis. We make three contributions with respect to previous work on this topic. First, we empirically determine core boundary conditions given by the performance of modern smartphones. To maximize system performance under such circumstances we propose novel heuristics for a mode switching strategy based on client mobility instead of random strategies that have mainly been utilized so far. Finally, we compare its performance to a random role switching strategy in a large-scale simulation based on a real dataset consisting of movement traces from 28’000 people during a three day festival in Zurich. Within the simulation we investigate the influence of various parameters on the system’s behavior.

Citation: Franke, T., Negele, S., Kampis, G. and Lukowicz, P. (2015): Leveraging Human Mobility in Smartphone Based Ad-Hoc Information Distribution in Crowd Management Scenarios, submitted to MobiSys 2015.

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About P. Andreadis

Pre-Doctoral Research Assistant in AI and Social Computation @ University of Edinburgh.

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