Detecting Wandering Behavior Based on GPS Traces for Elders with Dementia

Qiang Lin, Daqing Zhang, Xiaodi Huang, Hongbo Ni, Xingshe Zhou

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Wandering is among the most frequent problematic, and dangerous behaviors for elders with dementia. Frequent wanderers likely suffer falls and fractures, which affect the safety and quality of their lives. In order to monitor outdoor wandering of elderly people with dementia, this paper proposes a real-time method for wandering detection based on individuals’ GPS traces. By representing wandering traces as loops, the problem of wandering detection is transformed into detecting loops in elders’ mobility trajectories. Specifically, the raw GPS data is first preprocessed to remove noisy and crowded points by performing an online mean shift clustering. A novel method called 0_WD is then presented that is able to detect loop-like traces on the fly. The experimental results on the GPS datasets of several elders have show that the 0_WD method is effective and efficient in detecting wandering behaviors, in terms of detection performance (AUC > 0.99, and 90% detection rate with less than 5% of the false alarm rate), as well as time complexity. 
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision
Subtitle of host publicationICARCV 2012
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781467318723
ISBN (Print)9781467318716
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event12th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision: ICARCV 2012 - Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center, Guangzhou, China
Duration: 05 Dec 201207 Dec 2012 (Conference website)


Conference12th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision
OtherInaugurated in 1990, ICARCV is a biennial event and has proven to be a premium forum where researchers, professionals and engineers in the area of Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision meet to interact and exchange the latest theoretical and experimental results in these four areas. The future ICARCV will strive to serve the same purpose. To help delegates to be in touch with us, a permanent email address ( and website ( have been set up.
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