Tackling the Neighboring Network Hit Problem in Cellular Data

Andres Leiva-Araos, Hector Allende-Cid, Denis Khryashchev, Huy T. Vo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Most humans today have mobile phones. According to the GSMA, there are almost 10 billion mobile connections in the world every day. These devices automatically capture behavioral data from human society and store it in databases around the world. However, data capture has several challenges to deal with, especially if it comes from old sources. Obsolete technologies such as 2G and 3G represent two-thirds of the total devices. To the best of our knowledge, all previous work only eliminates obvious problems in the data or use well-curated data. Eliminating traces in a time series can lead to deviations and biases in further analyses, especially when we are studying small areas or groups of peoples in the city. In this work, we present two algorithms to solve the problem of the Neighboring Network Hit (NNH) and calculate the distributions of trips and traveled distances with greater precision in small areas or groups of peoples. The problem of NNH arises when a mobile device connects to cellular sites other than those defined in the network design, which complicates the analysis of space-time mobility. We use cellular device data from three cities in Chile, obtained from the mobile phone operator and duly anonymized. We compare our results with the Government's Origin and Destination Surveys and use a novel method to generate synthetic data to which errors are added in a controlled manner to evaluate the performance of our solution. We conclude that our algorithms improve results compared to naive methods, increasing the accuracy in the count of trips and, mainly, in the distance distributions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2019
EditorsChaitanya Baru, Jun Huan, Latifur Khan, Xiaohua Tony Hu, Ronay Ak, Yuanyuan Tian, Roger Barga, Carlo Zaniolo, Kisung Lee, Yanfang Fanny Ye
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781728108582
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event2019 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2019 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: 9 Dec 201912 Dec 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2019 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2019


Conference2019 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles


  • binary logic
  • data cleaning
  • distance distribution
  • mobile data
  • network errors


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