AAAI Publications, 2010 AAAI Spring Symposium Series

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Reality Mining Africa
Shawndra Hill, Anita Banser, Getachew Berhan, Nathan Eagle

Last modified: 2010-03-16


Cellular phones can be used as mobile sensors, continuously logging users’ behavior including movement, communication and proximity to others. While it is well understood that data generated from mobile phones includes a record of phone calls, there are also more sophisticated data types, such as Bluetooth or cell tower proximity logging, which reveal movement patterns and day-to-day human interactions. We explore the possibility of using mobile phone data to compare movement and communication patterns across cultures. The goal of this proof-of-concept study is to quantify behavior in order to compare different populations. We compare our ability to predict future calling behavior and movement patterns from the cellular phone data of subjects in two distinct groups: a set of university students at MIT in the United States and the University of Nairobi in Kenya. In addition, we show how Bluetooth data may be used to estimate the diffusion of an airborne pathogen outbreak in the different populations.


Social Networks, Link Prediction, Artificial Intelligence for Development

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