Inferring user relationship from hidden information in WLANs

Ningning Cheng*, Prasant Mohapatra, Mathieu Cunche, Mohamed Ali Kaafar, Roksana Boreli, Srikanth Krishnamurthy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


With ever increasing usage of handheld devices and vast deployment of wireless networks, we observe that it is possible to collect data from mobile devices and reveal personal relationships of their owners. In the paper, we exploit the hidden information collected from WLAN devices and infer individual relationships between device pairs based on three observation dimensions: network association history, physical proximity and spatio-temporal behavior. By measuring WLAN data, we demonstrate that device owners with social relationship tend to share access points, or show similar behavior patterns in wireless communications (e.g. go to the same place periodically to access the same WLAN network). These results can be exploited for various network analytic purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2012 IEEE Military Communications Conference
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781467317290
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 IEEE Military Communications Conference, MILCOM 2012 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 1 Nov 20121 Nov 2012


Conference2012 IEEE Military Communications Conference, MILCOM 2012
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


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