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SPoT: Representing the Social, Spatial, and Temporal Dimensions of Human Mobility with a Unifying Framework

Modeling human mobility is crucial in the analysis and simulation of opportunistic networks, where contacts are exploited as opportunities for peer-topeer message forwarding. The current approach with human mobility modeling has been based on continuously modifying models, trying to embed in them the mobility properties (e.g., visiting patterns to locations or speci c distributions of inter-contact times) as they came up from trace analysis. As a consequence, with these models it is dicult, if not impossible, to modify the features of mobility or to control the exact shape of mobility metrics (e.g., modifying the distribution of inter-contact times). For these reasons, in this paper we propose a mobility framework rather than a mobility model, with the explicit goal of providing a exible and controllable tool for modeling mathematically and generating simulatively di erent possible features of human mobility. Our framework, named SPoT, is able to incorporate the three dimensions { spatial, social, and temporal { of human mobility. The way SPoT does it is by mapping the di erent social communities of the network into di erent locations, whose members visit with a con gurable temporal pattern. In order to characterize the temporal patterns of user visits to locations and the relative positioning of locations based on their shared users, we analyze the traces of real user movements extracted from three location-based online social networks (Gowalla, Foursquare, and Altergeo). We observe that a Bernoulli process e ectively approximates user visits to locations in the majority of cases and that locations that share many common users visiting them frequently tend to be located close to each other. In addition, we use these traces to test the exibility of the framework, and we show that SPoT is able to accurately reproduce the mobility behavior observed in traces. Finally, relying on the Bernoulli assumption for arrival processes, we provide a throughout mathematical analysis of the controllability of the framework, deriving the conditions under which heavy-tailed and exponentially-tailed aggregate inter-contact times (often observed in real traces) emerge.


IIT authors:

Dmytro Karamshuk

Foto di Dmytro Karamshuk

Type: TR Technical reports
Field of reference: Information Technology and Communication Systems
IIT TR-10/2013

File: TR-10-2013.pdf

Activity: Opportunistic Networking and Computing