Evaluation of home detection algorithms on mobile phone data using individual-level ground truth
Institute of Information Science and Technologies (ISTI), National Research Council (CNR), Pisa, Italy
2 Faculty of Engineering, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile
3 Telefónica R&D, Santiago, Chile
4 University of Turin, Turin, Italy
5 ISI Foundation, Turin, Italy
Accepted: 12 May 2021
Published online: 2 June 2021
Inferring mobile phone users’ home location, i.e., assigning a location in space to a user based on data generated by the mobile phone network, is a central task in leveraging mobile phone data to study social and urban phenomena. Despite its widespread use, home detection relies on assumptions that are difficult to check without ground truth, i.e., where the individual who owns the device resides. In this paper, we present a dataset that comprises the mobile phone activity of sixty-five participants for whom the geographical coordinates of their residence location are known. The mobile phone activity refers to Call Detail Records (CDRs), eXtended Detail Records (XDRs), and Control Plane Records (CPRs), which vary in their temporal granularity and differ in the data generation mechanism. We provide an unprecedented evaluation of the accuracy of home detection algorithms and quantify the amount of data needed for each stream to carry out successful home detection for each stream. Our work is useful for researchers and practitioners to minimize data requests and maximize the accuracy of the home antenna location.
Key words: Mobile phone data / Data science / Human mobility / Home location detection
© The Author(s) 2021
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.