Context Info: Configurable Context Data Collection Platform for Android Devices

February 18th, 2015

Pervasive use of smartphones has fueled various research in networking and behavioral analysis. Most of these research require real life data from smartphones for system design and evaluation. However collection of such data has been a challenge due to lack of sensing platforms which collect data at fine granular intervals without impacting the normal user behavior. We developed Context Info, a flexible smartphone sensing platform for Android devices, which can be easily deployed, configured and administered to collect various contextual data from real-life smartphone users without affecting their normal behavior. Context-Info is available on Google Play Store.


Context-Info Data Collection Procedure



Table I summarizes the information that is recorded by the app at the moment and it is flexible to add further contextual information as required. After collecting the amount of data specified in the configuration file, the data files are compressed and encrypted before uploading them to the server. The compressed data are achieved in the device as it enables the user to study their own behavior. To save storage, only a limited amount of data will be kept on a device. The data on the server is structured by directories according to the hashed Android IDs of the individuals to preserve the anonymity.



The data collected through Context Info is useful in multi- ple research disciplines. For example networking researchers can exploit the smartphone user mobility information and connectivity information to design human mobility models and various content dissemination strategies. Human computer interaction researchers can use the app usage and screen on/off data together with the contextual information such as location to study the user interactions with the smartphone. Furthermore currently a smartphone is closely attached to a single user and thus various data collected through Context Info is a good source of information for behavioral scientists to study the human behaviors under various scenarios and environments.