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Contextual localization through network traffic analysis

  • Author(s): Das, AK
  • Pathak, PH
  • Chuah, CN
  • Mohapatra, P
  • et al.
Abstract

The rise of location-based services has enabled many opportunities for content service providers to optimize the content delivery based on user's location. Since sharing precise location remains a major privacy concern among the users, many location-based services rely on contextual location (e.g. residence, cafe etc.) as opposed to acquiring user's exact physical location. In this paper, we present PACL (Privacy-Aware Contextual Localizer), which can learn user's contextual location just by passively monitoring user's network traffic. PACL can discern a set of vital attributes (statistical and application-based) from user's network traffic, and predict user's contextual location with a very high accuracy. We design and evaluate PACL using real-world network traces of over 1700 users with over 100 gigabytes of total data. Our results show that PACL (built using decision tree) can predict user's contextual location with the accuracy of around 87%. © 2014 IEEE.

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