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Recovering missing values from corrupted spatio-temporal sensory data via robust low-rank tensor completion

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  • Wenjie Ruan
  • Peipei Xu
  • Quan Z. Sheng
  • Nickolas J.G. Falkner
  • Xue Li
  • Wei Emma Zhang


With the booming of the Internet of Things, tremendous amount of sensors have been installed in different geographic locations, generating massive sensory data with both time-stamps and geo-tags. Such type of data usually have shown complex spatio-temporal correlation and are easily missing in practice due to communication failure or data corruption. In this paper, we aim to tackle the challenge-how to accurately and efficiently recover the missing values for corrupted spatiotemporal sensory data. Specifically, we first formulate such sensor data as a high-dimensional tensor that can naturally preserve sensors’ both geographical and time information, thus we call spatio-temporal Tensor. Then we model the sensor data recovery as a low-rank robust tensor completion problem by exploiting its latent low-rank structure and sparse noise property. To solve this optimization problem, we design a highly efficient optimization method that combines the alternating direction method of multipliers and accelerated proximal gradient to minimize the tensor’s convex surrogate and noise’s ℓ1-norm. In addition to testing our method by a synthetic dataset, we also use passive RFID (radiofrequency identification) sensors to build a real-world sensor-array testbed, which generates overall 115,200 sensor readings for model evaluation. The experimental results demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of our approach.