11th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services

Research Article

Estimating Crowd Densities and Pedestrian Flows Using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/icst.mobiquitous.2014.257870,
        author={Lorenz Schauer and Martin Werner and Philipp Marcus},
        title={Estimating Crowd Densities and Pedestrian Flows Using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth},
        proceedings={11th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services},
        publisher={ICST},
        proceedings_a={MOBIQUITOUS},
        year={2014},
        month={11},
        keywords={crowd density pedestrian flow tracking wi-fi probes bluetooth},
        doi={10.4108/icst.mobiquitous.2014.257870}
    }
    
  • Lorenz Schauer
    Martin Werner
    Philipp Marcus
    Year: 2014
    Estimating Crowd Densities and Pedestrian Flows Using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
    MOBIQUITOUS
    ICST
    DOI: 10.4108/icst.mobiquitous.2014.257870
Lorenz Schauer1,*, Martin Werner1, Philipp Marcus1
  • 1: LMU Munich
*Contact email: lorenz.schauer@ifi.lmu.de

Abstract

The rapid deployment of smartphones as all-purpose mobile computing systems has led to a wide adoption of wireless communication systems such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in mobile scenarios. Both communication systems leak information to the surroundings during operation. This information has been used for tracking and crowd density estimations in literature. However, an estimation of pedestrian flows has not yet been evaluated with respect to a known ground truth and, thus, a reliable adoption in real world scenarios is rather difficult. With this paper, we fill in this gap. Using ground truth provided by the security check process at a major German airport, we discuss the quality and feasibility of pedestrian flow estimations for both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth captures. We present and evaluate three approaches in order to improve the accuracy in comparison to a naive count of captured MAC addresses. Such counts only showed an impractical Pearson correlation of 0.53 for Bluetooth and 0.61 for Wi-Fi compared to ground truth. The presented extended approaches yield a superior correlation of 0.75 in best case. This indicates a strong correlation and an improvement of accuracy. Given these results, the presented approaches allow for a practical estimation of pedestrian flows.