Modeling the Temporal Nature of Human Behavior for Demographics Prediction

  • Bjarke Felbo
  • Pål Sundsøy
  • Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland
  • Sune Lehmann
  • Yves-Alexandre de MontjoyeEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10536)


Mobile phone metadata is increasingly used for humanitarian purposes in developing countries as traditional data is scarce. Basic demographic information is however often absent from mobile phone datasets, limiting the operational impact of the datasets. For these reasons, there has been a growing interest in predicting demographic information from mobile phone metadata. Previous work focused on creating increasingly advanced features to be modeled with standard machine learning algorithms. We here instead model the raw mobile phone metadata directly using deep learning, exploiting the temporal nature of the patterns in the data. From high-level assumptions we design a data representation and convolutional network architecture for modeling patterns within a week. We then examine three strategies for aggregating patterns across weeks and show that our method reaches state-of-the-art accuracy on both age and gender prediction using only the temporal modality in mobile metadata. We finally validate our method on low activity users and evaluate the modeling assumptions.


Call Detail Records Mobile phone metadata Temporal patterns User modeling Demographics prediction 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bjarke Felbo
    • 1
    • 3
  • Pål Sundsøy
    • 2
  • Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland
    • 1
  • Sune Lehmann
    • 3
  • Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.MIT Media LabMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Telenor ResearchOsloNorway
  3. 3.DTU ComputeTechnical University of DenmarkKgs. LyngbyDenmark
  4. 4.Department of Computing and Data Science InstituteImperial College LondonLondonUK

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