Analysing the mobility, predictability and evolution of WLAN users
by Jeeyoung Kim; Ahmed Helmy
International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems (IJAACS), Vol. 7, No. 1/2, 2014

Abstract: With the proliferation of numerous light weight devices along with the widespread use of Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) in many public places, we are now connected on-the-go more than ever. Such change, in device technology and coverage ubiquity, results in unexplored dynamics and raises several challenging questions. How are these changes affecting the behaviour of mobile users? And how do these changes affect mobile user predictability and the networking protocols that utilise it? To shed light on the changes and how protocols involving the mobility of users can change, we follow a systematic analysis methodology. First, using a three-year long network trace, we study user mobility and its effects on predictability of regular and ultra-mobile users, by analysing the contrast between the mobility of the WLAN users, and four carefully selected sets of ultra-mobile users across various mobility metrics. We also investigate how these differences in mobility affect the predictability of such users' next locations. Then, we study the evolution of user mobility using extensive network traces over five years, and also investigate a series of prediction methods to analyse the evolution of prediction accuracy of these WLAN users. This study of user mobility and predictability paves the way for better understanding of present day mobile users, and gives us insight into the potential evolution of network users' behaviour in the coming future.

Online publication date: Tue, 21-Oct-2014

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