An Empirical Analysis of Wi-Fi Activity in Three Urban Scenarios

Thomas Claveirole 1 Mathias Boc 1 Marcelo Dias de Amorim 1
1 NPA - Networks and Performance Analysis
LIP6 - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Paris 6
Abstract : A better understanding of people's daily behaviors with respect to the underlying wireless network is a crucial step toward Wi-Fi based pervasive networking. Existing analyses found in the literature have focused on closed environments such as university campuses, offices, or conferences. This paper develops a new approach to analyze Wi-Fi user behaviors in the wild based on wireless sniffing. With our technique, we are able to investigate Wi-Fi activity in areas usually inaccessible to traditional systems. Moreover, instead of focusing on a single network, we capture behaviors of all users around specific locations regardless of their relationship with existing networks. We show the potential of our approach by analyzing Wi-Fi activity in three environments with different sociological means: an office area, a sparse residential area, and a dense residential area. Our results reveal unseen and unexpected properties: (a) for two of the environments, the discovery rate of new users is constant even after a week of measurements, (b) in all three scenarios, most users rarely appear in the measured traces, and (c) as the environments are part of users' life along a typical day, activity intensity alternates between residential and office areas. This suggests that we can have a more complete view of user behaviors and better characterize the influence of the location under consideration.
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Thomas Claveirole, Mathias Boc, Marcelo Dias de Amorim. An Empirical Analysis of Wi-Fi Activity in Three Urban Scenarios. IEEE Percom Workshop on Pervasive Wireless Networking (PWN 2009), Mar 2009, Galveston, TX, United States. pp.1-6, ⟨10.1109/PERCOM.2009.4912876⟩. ⟨hal-01295237⟩



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