The Economist has a short but fascinating piece on the work of physicist Chaoming Song who creates mathematical models to predict your future location based on your mobile phone and online activity. His accuracy rarely drops below 80%.
Song Chaoming, for instance, is a researcher at Northeastern University in Boston. He is a physicist, but he moonlights as a social scientist. With that hat on he has devised an algorithm which can look at someone’s mobile-phone records and predict with an average of 93% accuracy where that person is at any moment of any day. Given most people’s regular habits (sleep, commute, work, commute, sleep), this might not seem too hard. What is impressive is that his accuracy was never lower than 80% for any of the 50,000 people he looked at.
Yes folks, we’re all unique. Just like everyone else.
Link to The Economist on Chaoming’s network echo location work.