Walking in Sync: Two is Company, Three’s a Crowd

Paper type: 
Workshop paper
Kleomenis Katevas, Hamed Haddadi, Laurissa Tokarchuk, Richard G. Clegg
2nd Workshop on Physical Analytics (WPA), Florence, Italy, 2015
Abstract: 
Eventual gait synchronization between two individuals while walking and talking with each other has been shown to be an indicator of agreeableness and companionship. The inferred physical signal from this subconscious phenomenon can potentially be an indicator of cooperation or relation between two individuals. In this paper we investigate this effect, and whether having a third person actively engaging in the same act or conversation can reduce this synchronization level. Using high frequency accelerometer data from a dedicated smartphone app, we perform a number of controlled experiments on a number of individuals in different group configuration. Our results bring an interesting insight: it is the non-verbal social signals such as the gaze, head orientation and gestures that is the key factor in synchronization, not necessarily the number or configuration of the walkers. These early results can lead us on detecting relationships between individuals or detecting the group formation and numbers for crowd-sensing applications when only partial data is available.
Description: 
This paper describes preliminary results on analysing the movements of people walking next to each other. The data is collected from mobile phone movement sensors carried by experimental subjects. The accelerometers on mobile phones show synchronisation when compared. Correlations between time series are used to infer the presence of a third party with when people are walking. This is preliminary work on a small data set with only three participants.
Preprint: 
bibtex: 
@article{sync_wpa_2015,
title={Walking in Sync: Two is Company, Three’s a Crowd},
author= {Kleomenis Katevas and Hamed Haddadi and Laurissa Tokarchuk and Richard G. Clegg},
year=2015,
booktitle={Proc. of Workshop on Physical Analytics }
}