UbiComp 2013 Social Media ChairWhile the proceedings are finally finished (look for your copy in your conference pack at registration!) UbiComp 2013 Publication Chair Paul Baumann sure knows how to keep himself busy: he’s been burning the midnight oil preparing a data collection campaign to run during the conference days in Zurich.

Paul, so tell us about that data collection of yours.

We call it the “UbiComp 2013 Data Collection Campaign” – UbiComp 2013 DCC  for short. Its goal is to gather mobility traces of individuals in indoor environments. We prepared a simple Android app for this (“UbiComp 2013 DCC”) which should make participation very easy: simply install it from Google Play store, enter some (optional) demographic information and off you go.

And then what does the App do?

The app scans regularly for visible Wi-Fi access points and Bluetooth devices and logs their identifiers (along with a timestamp). The data is stored on the phone first and offloaded to a remote server whenever a Wi-Fi connection is available. We also deployed a number of Bluetooth base stations throughout the conference venue to act as ground truth.

While the app will run during the whole UbiComp 2013 conference, it will actually only record its data during the official “conference hours” – from the start of the first session until the end of the last session of each day. The rest of the time it just sleeps. You can of course manually suspend all tracking at any time, directly in the app.

What do you plan to do with the data?

We want to analyze individuals’ and groups’ “micro-mobility” behavior. Hopefully, enough attendees will install the app so that we can collect a valuable data set for the research community.

So you plan to make this data publicly available?

Yes, that is definitely the plan. Also, those who will help us with the collection by installing the app will get “early access” to it – as soon as we have done the initial clean-up of the data. The only catch is that we ask you to leave the app running for at least 40% of the conference hours for this. An indicator within the app will show you how close you are to that goal. As an additional incentive we will raffle three Amazon gift vouchers in the amount of 100.- USD among these participants.

How do you know where to send my voucher to?

Once you reach that 40% goal, you will be able to submit an e-mail address directly in the app. This will allow you to participate in the raffle and to be included in the “early access” list. We will of course *not* link your data to the e-mail address to guarantee your anonymity!

Well, good luck then and I hope you will get plenty of participants and a huge amount of data!

More information about the UbiDCC is available here. And, of course, you can download the app here.

Paul Baumann is a PhD student at the Wireless Sensor Networks Lab at TU Darmstadt. His research focus is on mobile sensing systems and in particular human mobility prediction.

The UbiComp 2013 DCC is a joint project of the Wireless Sensor Networks Lab (WSN Lab) and Multimedia Communication Lab (KOM) of TU Darmstadt, Germany and the Distributed Systems Group (DS Group) of ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The team is composed of Paul Baumann, Johannes Klaus, and Silvia Santini (WSN Lab), Bjoern Richerzhagen (KOM), and Wilhelm Kleiminger (DS Group).