Abstract: Understanding user mobility is critical for simulations of mobile devices in a wireless network, but current mobility models often do not reflect real user movements. In this paper, we provide a foundation for such work by exploring mobility characteristics in traces of mobile users. We present a method to estimate the physical location of users from a large trace of mobile devices associating with access points in a wireless network. Using this method, we extracted tracks of always-on Wi-Fi devices from a 13-month trace. We discovered that the speed and pause time each follow a log-normal distribution and that the direction of movements closely reflects the direction of roads and walkways. Based on the extracted mobility characteristics, we developed a mobility model, focusing on movements among popular regions. Our validation shows that synthetic tracks match real tracks with a median relative error of 17%.
Keywords: mobile computing, wireless, network
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