IncentMe: Effective Mechanism Design to Stimulate Crowdsensing Participants with Uncertain Mobility


Mobile crowdsensing harnesses the sensing power of modern smartphones to collect and analyze data beyond the scale of what was previously possible. In a mobile crowdsensing system, it is paramount to incentivize smartphone users to provide sensing services in a timely and reliable manner. Given sensed information is often valid for a limited period of time, the capability of smartphone users to execute sensing tasks largely depends on their mobility, which is often uncertain. For this reason, in this paper we propose IncentMe, a framework that solves this fundamental problem by leveraging game-theoretical reverse auction mechanism design. After demonstrating that the proposed problem is NP-hard, we derive two mechanisms that are parallelizable and achieve higher approximation ratio than existing work. IncentMe has been extensively evaluated on a road traffic monitoring application implemented using mobility traces of taxi cabs in San Francisco, Rome, and Beijing. Results demonstrate that the mechanisms in IncentMe outperform the state of the art work by improving the efficiency in recruiting participants by 30%.


Computer Science

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Second Research Center/Lab

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Third Research Center/Lab

Intelligent Systems Center


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant no. CCF-1725755, CCF-1533918, CNS-1545037 and CNS-1545050. The information reported in this manuscript does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the federal government.

Keywords and Phrases

Computation theory; Computer games; Game theory; Job analysis; Machine design; Mechanisms; Mobile computing; Monitoring; Navigation; Optimization; Sensors; Taxicabs; Auction; Crowd sensing; Incentive; Participatory; Roads; Sensing; Task analysis; Smartphones; Crowdsensing; Sensors; Smart phones

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1536-1233; 1558-0660

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 2019