Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the 25th Annual Joint Conference of the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies (INFOCOM)


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%.