Improving IoT Data Quality in Mobile Crowd Sensing: A Cross Validation Approach


Data quality, or sometimes referred to as data credibility, is a critical issue in mobile crowd sensing (MCS) and more generally Internet of Things (IoT). While candidate solutions, such as incentive mechanisms and data mining have been well explored in the literature, the power of crowds has been largely overlooked or under-exploited. In this paper, we propose a cross validation approach which seeks a validating crowd to ratify the contributing crowd in terms of the sensor data contributed by the latter, and uses the validation result to reshape data into a more credible posterior belief of the ground truth. This approach consists of a framework and a mechanism, where the framework outlines a four-step procedure and the mechanism implements it with specific technical components, including a weighted random oversampling (WRoS) technique and a privacy-aware trust-oriented probabilistic push (PATOP2) algorithm. Unlike most prior work, our proposed approach augments rather than redesigning existing MCS systems, and requires minimal effort from the crowd, making it conducive to practical adoption. We evaluate our proposed mechanism using a real-world MCS IoT dataset and demonstrate remarkable (up to 475%) improvement of data quality. In particular, it offers a unified solution to reconciling two disparate needs: reinforcing obscure (weakly recognizable) ground truths and discovering hidden (unrecognized) ground truths.


Computer Science

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center

Second Research Center/Lab

Center for High Performance Computing Research


This work was supported in part by the Hong Kong General Research Fund under Grant CUHK1421906, in part by the Presidential Fund from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant CNS-1818942, Grant CCF-1725755, Grant CNS-1545050, and Grant CCF-1533918.

Keywords and Phrases

Chance-constrained programming; Crowdsourcing; Data quality; Exploration-exploitation tradeoff; Internet of Things (IoT); Kullback-Leibler divergence; Privacy; Trust

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2019 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2019