Crowd (Soft) Control: Moving Beyond the OpportunisticJohn Rula and Fabián E. Bustamante. Crowd (Soft) Control: Moving Beyond the Opportunistic, In Proc. of the Thirteenth Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications (HotMobile), February 2012.
John Rula and Fabián E. Bustamante.
In Proc. of the Thirteenth Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications (HotMobile), February 2012.
Evanston, IL 60201, USA
A number of novel wireless networked services, ranging from participatory sensing to social networking, leverage the increasing capabilities of mobile devices and the movement of the individuals carrying them. For many of these systems, their effectiveness fundamentally depends on coverage and the particular mobility patterns of the participants. Given the strong spatial and temporal regularity of human mobility, the needed coverage can typically only be attained through a large participant base.
In this paper we explore an alternative approach to attain coverage without scale -- (soft) controlling the movement of participants. We present Crowd Soft Control (CSC), an approach to exert limited control over the temporal and spatial movements of mobile users by leveraging the built-in incentives of location-based gaming and social applications. By pairing network services with these location-based apps, CSC allows researchers to use an application's incentives (e.g. games objectives) to control the movement of participating users, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the associated network service. After outlining the case for Crowd Soft Control, we present an initial prototype of our ideas and discuss potential benefits and costs in the context of two case studies.