A Tale of Ten Cities: Characterizing Signatures of Mobile Traffic in Urban Areas

Abstract : Urban landscapes present a variety of socio-topological environments that are associated to diverse human activities. As the latter affect the way individuals connect with each other, a bound exists between the urban tissue and the mobile communication demand. In this paper, we investigate the heterogeneous patterns emerging in the mobile communication activity recorded within metropolitan regions. To that end, we introduce an original technique to identify classes of mobile traffic signatures that are distinctive of different urban fabrics. Our proposed technique outperforms previous approaches when confronted to ground-truth information, and allows characterizing the mobile demand in greater detail than that attained in the literature to date. We apply our technique to extensive real-world data collected by major mobile operators in ten cities. Results unveil the diversity of baseline communication activities across countries, but also evidence the existence of a number of mobile traffic signatures that are common to all studied areas and specific to particular land uses.
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Angelo Furno, Marco Fiore, Razvan Stanica, Cezary Ziemlicki, Zbigniew Smoreda. A Tale of Ten Cities: Characterizing Signatures of Mobile Traffic in Urban Areas. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2017, 16 (10), pp. 2682-2696. ⟨10.1109/TMC.2016.2637901⟩. ⟨hal-01514398⟩

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