Do you have an interest in analyzing Big Data, collected in real life, mobile context? Nokia Research Center Lausanne and its academic Swiss partners have recently completed a Data Collection Campaign in the Lake Geneva region. Data from smartphones of almost 200 participants was collected in the course of 1+ year.

The Mobile Data Challenge (MDC) releases the Lausanne data for the research community. The challenge provides you an opportunity to analyze a comprehensive and relatively unexplored data set including rich social and geographic information. Selected entries will be invited to participate in a workshop organized in conjunction with the Pervasive 2012 conference.

Recent MDC news:

June 21st, 2012

Conversations by Nokia cites MDC 2012   

June 21st, 2012

The best entries of MDC 2012 are released on the workshop pages

June 11th, 2012:

• A dedicated web page for the MDC workshop has now been published.

May 20, 2012:

• 108 submissions were received for the challenge: 59 Dedicated Track entries and 49 Open Track ones.

• The review process involving the Technical Program Committee, TPC, has been now been completed. As a result of the reviewing process, less than 20% of the Open Track and 16% Dedicated Track submissions for  oral presentation in the MDC workshop were accepted, respectively. Additionally, some papers were accepted for the poster session, resulting in the overall acceptance rate being below 40%.

• Registration to the MDC Workshop (Newcastle, UK; June 18-19) is now possible through the Pervasive'12 online system

• The MDC Awards Committee has been established to give recommendations concerning the winners of the  MDC Open Challenge. The following members will serve in this committee:

Henry Tirri - CTO, EVP, Nokia

Prof. Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland – MIT (Human Dynamics Laboratory, Media Lab Entreneurship Program)

Prof. Tony Jebara – Columbia University (Machine Learning Laboratory)

April 27, 2012:

MDC entries have been allocated to the PC members. Review is now ongoing.

March 5, 2012:

Detailed instructions for submitting the challenge entries have been allocated to all participants.

February 22, 2012:

PC members for MDC are announced. The list of members can be accessed through this link.

January 11, 2012:

- MDC data have been released to the challenge participants according to the schedule. Teams contributing to more than 400 challenges received the data and have now started the MDC related analysis

December 17, 2011:

· The challenge was received extremely well by the appropriate research communities since its launch in early November. As a consequence, around 700 individual researchers registered to the MDC. Altogether almost 500 challenge tasks were registered
 (click here for more information on the MDC statistics)

· The final workshop of the MDC has been now announced also on the Pervasive 2012 web page:

Description of the MDC:

The MDC comprises two alternative tracks: Open Track and Dedicated Track. In the Open Track, you are given the opportunity to approach the data set from an exploratory perspective. You can propose your own Challenge task, which matches with your own research interests and background. You can e.g. discover hidden behavioural patterns through statistical techniques, focus on more methodological contributions related to data mining or develop novel ways for data visualization.

The Dedicated Track gives you the possibility to take on up to three alternative concrete tasks to solve, with properly defined training and test sets, and evaluation measures that will be used to assess and rank all the contributions. The tasks are related to prediction of the semantic labels of the places, next destinations of the users and demographic attributes from the mobile data.

For all cases, the description of your methods and/ or the findings of your analysis will be shared in the challenge in the form of a short paper, as well as any relevant accompanying material that you wish to share with the research community - such as analytics or visualization tools.


MDC schedule:

  • November 2011: Launch of the Call for the Challenge
  • December 7th 2011: Registration deadline for participation
  • Week1, 2012 (at the latest): Data is released
  • April 15th 2012: Deadline for final submission of the Challenge contributions
  • May 18th 2012: Acceptance notifications,and review feedback for challenge participants
  • June 3rd 2012: Deadline to deliver camera ready papers (to the proceedings of the “Mobile Data Challenge by Nokia” workshop)
  • June 18th 2012: “Mobile Data Challenge by Nokia” workshop: Newcastle,UK (in connection with Pervasive 2012, the 10th International Conference on Pervasive Computing)


How to participate?

Researchers with academic affiliation are eligible to enroll in the Challenge. However, researchers having an employment relationship with industrial or commercial companies may not participate in the MDC. Please refer to further details in the MDC Terms and Conditions. 

Prospective participants to the Dedicated Track do not have to submit a proposal, but will agree to participate in at least one of the Tasks of the Track and submit the results according to the MDC schedule.

The registration process has been launched in the beginning of November. The deadline for registering and submitting proposals is 7th December, 2011. If you are interested in joining the mailing list or if you want to request further information about the MDC, please send us an email (mobiledata.challenge2012 [at]

Click here to access more detailed instructions for the participation, as well as the MDC Terms and Conditions document to be signed by participating individuals.

Evaluation and awards:

The open challenge entries will be evaluated according to the standard scientific criteria, including novelty, quality of contribution/documentation, etc., based on the feedback from the program committee of the MDC workshop. The dedicated tracks will be evaluated in comparison to ground truth data.

The best challenge entries in both tracks will be awarded prizes.

Open track:

1st prize: 3000€, 2nd prize: 2000€, 3rd prize: 1000€.

Dedicated track:

The rewarding budget of 6000 € will be distributed as cash prizes between best contributions of the different tasks of the dedicated track. The organizers reserve the right to distribute this sum unequally between the tasks of the dedicated track.

Additionally, prizes may include Nokia products.


Organizing Committee of the MDC:

Workshop Chairs:

Juha Laurila, Nokia Research Center Lausanne

Daniel Gatica-Perez, Idiap Research Institute / EPFL


Dedicated Challenge Leaders:

Olivier Dousse, Nokia Research Center Lausanne

Trinh Minh Tri Do, Idiap Research Institute

Markus Miettinen, Nokia Research Center Lausanne


Open Challenge Leaders:

Imad Aad, Nokia Research Center Lausanne

Jan Blom, Nokia Research Center Lausanne



Emma Doree, Nokia Research Center Lausanne

Julien Eberle, Nokia Research Center Lausanne

 Olivier Bornet, IDIAP Research Institute


MDC Programme Committee:

The full list of PC members can be accessed here.


Detailed Participation Instructions and MDC Terms and Conditions:

Click on this link in order to receive more detailed instructions for the challenge, as well as the MDC Terms and Conditions document needed during the registration process.


MDC workshop pages:

Workshop attendees, please click here for detailed information on the workshop (workshop program, instructions for presenters, etc.).