Population Size Estimation Using a Few Individuals as Agents

We conduct an experiment where ten attendees of an open-air music festival are acting as Bluetooth probes. We then construct a parametric statistical model to estimate the total number of visible Bluetooth devices in the festival area. By comparing our estimate with ground truth information provided by probes at the entrances of the festival, we show that the total population can be estimated with a surprisingly low error (1.26% in our experiment), given the small number of agents compared to the area of the festival and the fact that they are regular attendees who move randomly. Also, our statistical model can easily be adapted to obtain more detailed estimates, such as the evolution of the population size over time.

Published in:
Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT), 2499-2503
Presented at:
IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT), Saint-Petersburg, Russia, July 31 - August 5, 2011
Ieee Service Center, 445 Hoes Lane, Po Box 1331, Piscataway, Nj 08855-1331 Usa

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 Record created 2011-10-26, last modified 2020-07-30

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