Mobile Phone-based Participatory Sensing and its Analysis in Mobile Communities (SS 2014)

TUCaN course ID: 18-sm-2250-vl 
Organization: Björn Richerzhagen

This course is no longer offered.

This course is being taught by Prof. Klara Nahrstedt from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is designed as a mixed course consisting of lecture and seminar parts and takes place in June 2014. For more details on this course or in case of organizational issues, please contact Björn Richerzhagen.


The objective of this course will be to acquire a critical thinking and advanced knowledge in the area of participatory sensing, measurement and analysis techniques of sensory information on mobile phones for characterizing the movement of people, as well as usage of the sensory information for protocols and algorithms design to enable data access, distribution and activity detection.  The last but not least research area we will discuss in the context of participatory sensing and analysis of phone sensory information will be the privacy issues since with capturing and usage of various sensory information on our phones comes also responsibility to protect the individual privacy of users. The goal of the course will be to understand the mathematical and experimental foundations behind techniques that characterize human mobility, as well as how to utilize the mobility knowledge in effective and private manner. 

Lecture + Seminar

The course format will consist of a mixture of presentations and extensive discussions of the papers provided in the “required” reading list. The students will be asked to read one assigned paper from the required reading list for each lecture segment, provide an extensive review of the paper, prepare a short presentation of the paper’s pros and cons, and identify an open problem from the reviewed paper. As a final project, students will prepare survey papers in a chosen area from the course topics, using optional reading list papers as well as find new papers in the chosen topics.

Recommended Background

This course is intended for students that are currently pursuing a B.Sc. or M.Sc.-degree in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering with a focus on Computer Systems and interested PhD students. As a background it would be beneficial to have some knowledge taught in courses such as Mobile Sensing (Lecture) by Prof. Silvia Santini, Wireless Sensor Networks (Seminar) by Prof. Silvia Santini, Wireless Security (Lecture) by Prof. Matthias Hollick or others in the field of communication networks. Students are encouraged to visit the lecture Mobile Sensing in parallel to this course.

General Information

The course takes place Mondays from 9:50 till 12:25 and on Wednesdays from 13:30 till 16:00 in room S3|20 4 and S3|20 5 (Rundeturmstr. 10) during June.

26.05., Mon 10:00 - 11:00
S3|20 111
Organizational Issues
02.06., Mon 9:50 - 12:25
S3|20 4
Introduction to Mobile Computing
04.06., Wed
05.06., Thu
18:00 - 20:30
S3|20 111
Context Sensing on Mobile Phones
11.06., Wed 13:30 - 16:00
S3|20 5
Measurement Analysis
Measuring Human Mobility
16.06., Mon 9:50 - 12:25
S3|20 4
Prediction of Human Mobility
18.06., Wed 13:30 - 16:00
S3|20 5
Utilization of Measurement Analysis...
...for Data Accessibility and Data Distribution
...for Activity and Mobility Inference
23.06., Mon 9:50 - 12:25
S3|20 4
Privacy/Security Issues in Mobile Systems

(*) Registration for the exam is required if you want to obtain credit points. Please note, that there is no real exam, but instead grades are based on a written submission, as described below.

Seminar in the summer term 2013

Examination and Grading

Grading is based on a survey paper as well as a number of reviews that have to be written by the students as well as their participation during the course. Attendance at all course dates is mandatory in order to obtain credit points. There is no additional written or oral exam; however, you need to register for both, the module and the corresponding exam in TUCaN, as otherwise we can not transfer your grade.

Final Survey Paper

Students have to submit a final survey paper on one of the topic areas of the course. They can freely choose which topic they want to cover. The report has to be at least 8 pages long (using the IEEE-Template). It should include some additional sources besides the papers included on the reading list (please adhere to the detailed requirements as stated in the organzational slides). Papers 1 and 2 are very good examples of well-cited surveys.

Presentation (1x)

Each student is assigned to one of the required papers on the reading list which is to be presented in class. The presentation should be roughly 10 minutes long and include the main contributions and findings of the respective paper. After the presentation, there will be in-depth discussion of the paper. The discussion is to be moderated by the presenting student.

Reviews (2x) + Peer-reviews (2x)

In addition to the presentation, each student has to submit two written reviews (approx. 1 page, no template required) on assigned papers. These reviews will then be peer-reviewed by other students. In the end, each student will have submitted two reviews as well as two "reviews of other students' reviews". Those peer-reviews will be assigned during the course.

More details on how to submit your presentations and reviews is provided in the slideset of the organizational meeting. More details on the expected content of the reviews is provided in the slideset of the first lecture.