Design of energy-efficient location-based cloud services using cheap sensors

Sharmistha Chatterjee, Jukka K. Nurminen, Matti Siekkinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Detecting and tracking the position of a mobile user has become one of the important subjects in many mobile applications. Such applications use location based services (LBS) for learning and training user movements in different places (cities, markets, airports, stations) along different modes of transport (bus, car, cycle, walk). To date, GPS is the key solution to all LBS but repeated GPS querying is not economical in terms of the battery life of the mobile phone. The purpose of this paper is to study how cheap and energy-efficient air pressure sensors measuring the altitude could be used, as a complement to the dominant GPS system. The location detection and route tracking task is then accomplished by matching the collected altitude traces with the altitude curves of stored data to find the best matching routes. Design/methodology/approach: The cornerstone of the authors' approach is that a huge amount of route data, collected with GPS devices, is available in various cloud services. In order to evaluate the mechanism of matching routes with altitude data, the authors build a prototype system of crowd-sourced database containing only altitude data of different routes along different modes of transport. How accurately this stored altitude data could be matched with the collected altitude traces is the key question of this study. Findings: Results show that, within a certain level of accuracy, older repeated routes can be detected from newly tracked altitude traces. Further, the level of accuracy varies depending on the length of path traversed, route curvature, speed of travel and sensor used for tracking. Originality/value: The new contribution in this paper is to propose an alternative route detection mechanism which minimizes the use of GPS query. This concept will help in retrieving the GPS coordinates of already traversed routes stored in a large database by matching them with currently tracked altitude curves. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-138
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Accelerometer
  • Altitude
  • Cloud
  • Global positioning system
  • Location based services
  • Mobile communication systems
  • Mobile networks
  • Mobile technology
  • Power
  • Pressure
  • Route matching
  • Sensors
  • Sub-route matching
  • Tracking


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