By Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, Sébastien Gambs, Vincent Blondel, Geoffrey Canright, Nicolas de Cordes, Sébastien Deletaille, Kenth Engø-Monsen, Manuel Garcia-Herranz, Jake Kendall, Cameron Kerry, Gautier Krings, Emmanuel Letouzé, Miguel Luengo-Oroz, Nuria Oliver, Luc Rocher, Alex Rutherford, Zbigniew Smoreda, Jessica Steele, Erik Wetter, Alex “Sandy” Pentland, and Linus Bengtsson. 

Abstract

The breadcrumbs we leave behind when using our mobile phones—who somebody calls, for how long, and from where—contain unprecedented insights about us and our societies. Researchers have compared the recent availability of large-scale behavioral datasets, such as the ones generated by mobile phones, to the invention of the microscope, giving rise to the new field of computational social science.

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