Energy-efficient trajectory tracking for mobile devices

Contribution for newspaper or weekly magazine, Article OPEN
Mikkel Kjærgaard ; Sourav Bhattacharya ; Henrik Blunck ; Petteri Nurmi (2011)

Emergent location-aware applications often require tracking trajectories of mobile devices over a long period of time. To be useful, the tracking has to be energy-efficient to avoid having a major impact on the battery life of the mobile de vice. Furthermore, when trajectory information needs to be sent to a remote server, on-device simplification of the trajectories is needed to reduce the amount of data transmission. While there has recently been a lot of work on energy-efficient position tracking, the energy-efficient tracking of trajectories has not been addressed in previous work. In this paper we propose a novel on-device sensor management strategy and a set of trajectory updating protocols which intelligently determine when to sample different sensors (accelerometer, compass and GPS) and when data should be simplified and sent to a remote server. The system is configurable with regards to accuracy requirements and provides a unified framework for both position and trajectory tracking. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by emulation experiments on real world data sets collected from different modes of transportation (walking, running, biking and commuting by car) as well as by validating with a real-world deployment. The results demonstrate that our approach is able to provide considerable savings in the battery consumption compared to a state-of-the-art position tracking system while at the same time maintaining the accuracy of the resulting trajectory, i.e., support of specific accuracy requirements and different types of applications can be ensured.
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