Publish or Drop Traffic Event Alerts? Quality-Aware Decision Making in Participatory Sensing-Based Vehicular CPS


Vehicular cyber-physical systems (VCPS), among several other applications, may help address an everincreasing challenge of traffic congestion in large cities. Nevertheless, VCPS can be hindered by information falsification problem, resulting due to the wrong perception of a traffic event or deliberate faking by the participating vehicles. Such information fabrication causes the re-routing of vehicles and artificial congestion, leading to economic, safety, environmental, and health hazards. Thus, it is imperative to infer truthful traffic information in real-time to restore the operational reliability of the VCPS. In this work, we propose a novel reputation scoring and decision support framework, called Spoofed and False Report Eradicator (SAFE), which offers a cost-effective and efficient solution to handle information falsification problem in the VCPS domain. The framework includes humans in the sensing loop by exploiting the paradigm of participatory sensing, a concept of a mobile security agent (MSA) to nullify the effects of deliberate false contribution, and a variant of the distance bounding mechanism to thwart location-spoofing attacks. A regression-based model integrates these effects to generate the expected truthfulness of a participant's contribution. To determine if any contribution is true or false, a generalized linear model is used to transform the expected truthfulness into a Quality of Contribution (QoC) score. The QoC of different reports is aggregated to compute user reputation. Such reputation enables classification of different participation behaviors. Finally, an Expected Utility Theory (EUT)-based decision model is proposed that utilizes the reputation score to determine if event-specific information should be published or dropped. To evaluate the SAFE framework through experimental study, we used both simulated and real data to compare its reputation-based user segregation performance with stateof- the-art frameworks. Experimental results exhibit that SAFE captures the fine differences in participants' behavior through the quality and quantity of participation, and the accuracy of their informed location. It also significantly improves operational reliability through publishing the information of only legitimate events.


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


The authors also acknowledge the support of CSIR-CMERI Durgapur, IIT Kharagpur, IIEST Shibpur, and Missouri S&T to carry out this research. The work of S. K. Das is partially supported by NSF grants under award numbers: CNS-1545050, CNS-1545037, CCF-1725755, and CNS-1818942.

Keywords and Phrases

Automated decision making; Information falsification; Participatory sensing; Reputation; Vehicular cyber-physical system

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2019