Dataset Intro

Are the tools we use to understand our data scalable to the tens of millions of records, huge spans of time, minute details of behavior, and large geographic extent that future sensor networks will generate? In the future buildings will be studded with sensors. Every movement will generate a few bits of data. Every fluctuation in temperature will be recorded. Every deviation in lighting will be noticed. These large and complex datasets will challenge the tools we use today.

Looking into the future of residential and office buildings Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) has collected motion sensor data from a network of over 200 sensors for two years between March 2006 and March 2008. This data is the residual trace from the people working in our research laboratory. It contains interesting spatio-temporal structure ranging all the way from the seconds of individuals walking down hallways, the minutes in lobbies chatting with colleagues, the hours of dozens of people attending talks and meetings, the days and weeks that drive the patterns of life, to the months and seasons with their ebb and flow of visiting employees.

In March 2009 we are releasing a public data set containing well over 50 million raw motion records, spanning two calendar years and two floors of our research laboratory. We believe it presents a significant challenge for behavior analysis, search, manipulation and visualization. We have also prepared accompanying analytics such as partial tracks and behavior detections, as well as map data and anonymous calendar data marking the pattern of meetings, vacations and holidays.

We invite you to download the data and apply your analytic, visualization, and interface tools. We hope that this data will help the research community in further exploration of many mysteries of social and individual behavior of the inhabitants of this wonderful world of ours.  


Chris Wren and Yuri Ivanov
23 March 2009