Tracking urban human activity from mobile phone calling patterns

Daniel Monsivais*, Asim Ghosh, Kunal Bhattacharya, Robin I.M. Dunbar, Kimmo Kaski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Timings of human activities are marked by circadian clocks which in turn are entrained to different environmental signals. In an urban environment the presence of artificial lighting and various social cues tend to disrupt the natural entrainment with the sunlight. However, it is not completely understood to what extent this is the case. Here we exploit the large-scale data analysis techniques to study the mobile phone calling activity of people in large cities to infer the dynamics of urban daily rhythms. From the calling patterns of about 1,000,000 users spread over different cities but lying inside the same time-zone, we show that the onset and termination of the calling activity synchronizes with the east-west progression of the sun. We also find that the onset and termination of the calling activity of users follows a yearly dynamics, varying across seasons, and that its timings are entrained to solar midnight. Furthermore, we show that the average mid-sleep time of people living in urban areas depends on the age and gender of each cohort as a result of biological and social factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1005824
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalPLoS computational biology
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Tracking urban human activity from mobile phone calling patterns'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this