Gender Classification of Walkers via Underfloor Accelerometer Measurements Academic Article uri icon


  • The ability to classify the gender of occupants in a building has far-reaching applications including security and retail sales. The authors demonstrate the success of machine learning techniques for gender classification. High-sensitivity accelerometers mounted noninvasively beneath an actual building floor provide the input for these machine learning methods. While other approaches using gait measurements, such as vision systems and wearable sensors, provide the potential for gender classification, they each face limitations. These limitations include an invasion of privacy, occupant compliance, required line of sight, and/or high sensor density. Underfloor mounted accelerometers overcome these limitations. The authors utilize the highly-instrumented Goodwin Hall smart building on the Virginia Tech campus to measure vibrations of the walking surface caused by walkers. In this paper, the gait of 15 individual walkers was recorded as they, alone, walked down the instrumented hallway. Fourteen accelerometers, mounted underneath the walking surface, recorded walking trials with the placement of the sensors unknown to the walker. This paper studies bagged decision trees, boosted decision trees, support vector machines, and neural networks as the machine learning techniques for their ability to classify gender. A tenfold-cross-validation method is used to comment on the validity of the algorithm's ability to generalize to new walkers. This paper demonstrates that a gender classification accuracy of 88% is achievable using the underfloor vibration data from the Virginia Tech Goodwin Hall by using decision tree approaches.

published proceedings

  • IEEE Internet of Things Journal

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Bales, D., Tarazaga, P. A., Kasarda, M., Batra, D., Woolard, A. G., Poston, J. D., & Malladi, V.

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • Bales, Dustin||Tarazaga, Pablo A||Kasarda, Mary||Batra, Dhruv||Woolard, AG||Poston, JD||Malladi, VVNS

publication date

  • January 2017