Elsevier Online Social Networks and Media (OSNEM)
Volume 28, 2022

Impact Factor: 3.79

Contact Duration: Intricacies of Human Mobility


Human mobility shapes our daily lives, our urban environment 
and even the trajectory of a global pandemic. While various 
aspects of human mobility and inter-personal contact duration 
have already been studied separately, little is known about 
how these two key aspects of our daily lives are fundamentally 
connected. Better understanding of such interconnected human 
behaviors is crucial for studying infectious diseases, as well a
s opportunistic content forwarding. To address these deficiencies, 
we conducted a study on a mobile social network of human mobility 
and contact duration, using data from 71 persons based on GPS and 
Bluetooth logs for 2 months in 2018. We augment these data with 
location APIs, enabling a finer granular characterization of the 
users' mobility in addition to contact patterns. We model stops 
durations to reveal how time-unbounded-stops (e.g., bars or 
restaurants) follow a log-normal distribution while time-bounded-stops 
(e.g., offices, hotels) follow a power-law distribution. 
Furthermore, our analysis reveals contact duration adheres to a 
log-normal distribution, which we use to model the duration of 
contacts as a function of the duration of stays. We further extend 
our understanding of contact duration during trips by modeling 
these times as a Weibull distribution whose parameters are a 
function of trip length. These results could better inform models 
for information or epidemic spreading, helping guide the future 
design of network protocols as well as policy decisions.

Open Access 

author={Leonardo Tonetto and Malintha Adikari and Nitinder Mohan and Aaron Yi Ding and Joerg Ott},
journal={Online Social Networks and Media},
title={Contact Duration: Intricacies of Human Mobility},
How to cite:

Leonardo Tonetto, Malintha Adikari, Nitinder Mohan, Aaron Yi Ding, Joerg Ott. "Contact Duration: Intricacies of Human Mobility". Elsevier Online Social Networks and Media, Vol. 28, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.osnem.2021.100196