★ Modulo: Drive-by Sensing at City-scale on the Cheap

Authors :

Dhruv Agarwal (Ashoka University)
Srinivasan Iyengar (Microsoft Research)
Manohar Swaminathan (Microsoft Research)
Eash Sharma (Ola Cabs)
Ashish Raj (Ola Cabs)
Aadithya Hatwar (Ola Cabs)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3378393.3402275

Session: Opening session

Abstract: Drive-by sensing is gaining popularity as an inexpensive way to perform fine-grained, city-scale, spatiotemporal monitoring of physical phenomena. Prior work explores several challenges in the design of low-cost sensors, the reliability of these sensors, and their application for specific use-cases like pothole detection and pollution monitoring. However, the process of deployment of a drive-by sensing network at a city-scale is still unexplored. Despite the rise of ride-sharing services, there is still no way to optimally select vehicles from a fleet that can accomplish the sensing task by providing enough coverage of the city. In this paper, we propose Modulo — a system to bootstrap drive-by sensing deployment by taking into consideration a variety of aspects such as spatiotemporal coverage, budget constraints. Further, Modulo is well-suited to satisfy unique deployment constraints such as colocations with other sensors (needed for gas and PM sensor calibration), etc. We compare Modulo with two baseline algorithms on real-world taxi and bus datasets. We find that Modulo marginally outperforms the two baselines for datasets with just random-routes vehicles such as taxis. However, it significantly outperforms the baselines when a fleet comprises of both taxis and fixed-route vehicles such as public transport buses. Finally, we present a real-deployment that uses Modulo to select vehicles for an air pollution sensing application.