The signaling traffic of a cellular network is rich of information related to the movement of devices across cell boundaries. Thus, passive monitoring of anonymized signaling traffic enables the observation of the devices’ mobility patterns. This approach is intrinsically more powerful and accurate than previous studies based exclusively on Call Data Records as significantly more devices can be included for investigation, but it is also more challenging to implement due to a number of artifacts implicitly present in the network signaling. In this study we tackle the problem of estimating vehicular trajectories from 3G signaling traffic with particular focus on crucial elements of the data processing chain. The work is based on a sample set of anonymous traces from a large operational 3G network, including both the circuit-switched and packet-switched domains. We first investigate algorithms and procedures for preprocessing the raw dataset to make it suitable for mobility studies. Second, we present a preliminary analysis and characterization of the mobility signaling traffic. Finally, we present an algorithm for exploiting the refined data for road traffic monitoring, i.e., route detection. The work shows the potential of leveraging the 3G cellular network as a complementary “sensor” to existing solutions for road traffic monitoring.
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- Steps towards the Extraction of Vehicular Mobility Patterns from 3G Signaling Data
Karin Anna Hummel
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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