Study Authors
Sebastian Grauwin
Stanislav Sobolevsky
Michael Szell
Carlo Ratti - Director

Visualization
Pedro Cruz
Kyuha Shim
Damiano Gui

Partner
István Gódor
Simon Moritz
Dwight Whiterspoon
László Toka
Patrik Cerwall
As digital technologies are becoming more and more widespread, data from communication networks allow us to better understand human behaviour. The exploration of these data provides many new perspectives, revealing characteristic usages and regular dynamic patterns at both the individual and collective scale. The Senseable City Lab and Ericsson have embarked on a journey inside an unprecedented communications network data set including networks from different parts of the world. Our leading project aims at exploring the spatio-temporal voice, sms and data traffic in major cities from various continents. We investigate questions such as: Can we find repeating dynamical patterns ?
How are these patterns affected by specific events? Can we differentiate specific spatial areas with their activity patterns? Which are the similarities and difference between major cities in different parts of the world? Preliminary results suggest that while a city global signature is mainly based on its cultural background (same-country cities' signatures being more alike), all major cities share a same partitioning in spatial areas with specific patterns. As the partnership between Ericsson and MIT continues, research will delve more deeply into these questions, thus fostering our understanding of how the pulses of cities around the world interact to shape a single signal, the signature of humanity.