Characterizing and predicting mobile application usage

Keun-Woo Lim, Stefano Secci, Lionel Tabourier and Badis Tebbani

In Computer Communications, 2016, vol. 95, p. 82-94

In this paper, we propose data clustering techniques to predict temporal characteristics of data consumption behavior of different mobile applications via wireless communications. While most of the research on mobile data analytics focuses on the analysis of call data records and mobility traces, our analysis concentrates on mobile application usages, to characterize them and predict their behavior. We exploit mobile application usage logs provided by a Wi-Fi local area network service provider to characterize temporal behavior of mobile applications. More specifically, we generate daily profiles of “what” types of mobile applications users access and “when” users access them. From these profiles, we create usage classes of mobile applications via aggregation of similar profiles depending on data consumption rate, using three clustering techniques that we compare. Furthermore, we show that we can utilize these classes to analyze and predict future usages of each mobile application through progressive comparison using distance and similarity comparison techniques. Finally, we also detect and exploit outlying behavior in application usage profiles and discuss methods to efficiently predict them.