Crowd (Soft) control: Moving beyond the opportunistic

John Rula*, Fabian E Bustamante

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations


A number of novel wireless networked services, ranging from participatory sensing to social networking, leverage the increasing capabilities of mobile devices and the movements 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. game 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHotMobile 2012 - 13th Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications
StatePublished - May 2 2012
Event13th Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications, HotMobile 2012 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 28 2012Feb 29 2012


Other13th Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications, HotMobile 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications


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