Toward Community Sensing

Andreas Krause, Eric Horvitz, Aman Kansal, Feng Zhao

Access pdf.


A great opportunity exists to fuse information from populations of privately-held sensors to create useful sensing applications. For example, GPS devices, embedded in cellphones and automobiles, might one day be employed as distributed networks of velocity sensors for traffic monitoring and routing. Unfortunately, privacy and resource considerations limit access to such data streams. We describe principles of community sensing that offer mechanisms for sharing data from privately held sensors. The methods take into account the likely availability of sensors, the context-sensitive value of sensor information, based on models of phenomena and demand, and sensor owners' preferences about privacy and resource usage. We present efficient and well-characterized approximations of optimal sensing policies. We provide details on key principles of community sensing and highlight their use within a case study for road traffic monitoring.

Keywords: Community sensing, privacy, demand modeling, utilitarian services

In: Proceedings of IPSN 2008, International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks, St. Louis, Missouri, April 2008.

Back to
Eric Horvitz's home page.