Peer provided cell-like networks built out of thin air

Andres Arcia-Moret, Zafar Gilani, Arjuna Sathiaseelan, Jon Crowcroft

The success of Wi-Fi technology as an efficient and low-cost last-mile access solution has enabled massive spontaneous deployments generating storms of beacons all across the globe. Emerging location systems are using these beacons to observe mobility patterns of people through portable or wearable devices and offers promising use-cases that can help to solve critical problems in the developing world. In this paper, we design and develop a novel prototype to organise these spontaneous deployments of Access Points into what we call virtual cells (vcells). We compute virtual cells from a list of Access Points collected from different active scans for a geographical region. We argue that virtual cells can be encoded using Bloom filters to implement the location process. Lastly, we present two illustrative use-cases to showcase the suitability and challenges of the technique.

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