Uncovering Measurements of Social and Demographic Behavior From Smartphone Location Data

Daniel Kelly, Smyth Barry, Caulfield Brian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Human behavior, and in particular location behavior, is highly routine based. Modern mobile phones, through global position system (GPS) technology and cell tower and WiFi location identification, enable us to trace human location behavior at scales that were previously unattainable. The goal of this paper is to examine human location behavior, through mobile phone data, and investigate if links can be made between location behavior patterns and particular demographic and social characteristics about an individual. We hypothesize that an individual's daily predictability can be key to linking their behavior to certain characteristics, and we propose predictability and geographic areas of interest models to analyze this hypothesis. Experiments reveal that measurements, which are based on our proposed location predictability models, can correctly infer 17 different characteristics about an individual with an average accuracy of 85.5%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-198
JournalIEEE Transactions Human-Machine Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Mar 2013


  • Human Behavior
  • GPS
  • Smartphone
  • Clustering
  • Hidden Markov Model


Dive into the research topics of 'Uncovering Measurements of Social and Demographic Behavior From Smartphone Location Data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this