AAAI Publications, 2010 AAAI Spring Symposium Series

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A Gender-Centric Analysis of Calling Behavior in a Developing Economy Using Call Detail Records
Vanessa Frias-Martinez, Enrique Frias-Martinez, Nuria Oliver

Last modified: 2010-03-16


The gender divide in the access to technology in developing economies makes gender characterization and automatic gender identification two of the most critical needs for improving cell phone-based services. Gender identification has been typically solved using voice or image processing.


However, such techniques cannot be applied to cell phone networks mostly due to privacy concerns. In this paper, we present a study aimed at characterizing and automatically identifying the gender of a cell phone user in a developing economy based on behavioral, social and mobility variables. Our contributions are twofold: (1) understanding the role that gender plays on phone usage, and (2) evaluating common machine learning approaches for gender identification. The analysis was carried out using the encrypted CDRs (Call Detail Records) of approximately 10,000 users from a developing economy, whose gender was known a priori. Our results indicate that behavioral and social variables, including the number of input/output calls and the in degree/out degree of the social network, reveal statistically significant differences between male and female callers. Finally, we propose a new gender identification algorithm that can achieve classification rates of up to 80% when the percentage of predicted instances is reduced.


gender characterization and classification; SVMs; clustering

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