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In Smart health (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Depression is a serious mental health problem. Recently, researchers have proposed novel approaches that use sensing data collected passively on smartphones for automatic depression screening. While these studies have explored several types of sensing data (e.g., location, activity, conversation), none of them has leveraged Internet traffic of smartphones, which can be collected with little energy consumption and the data is insensitive to phone hardware. In this paper, we explore using coarse-grained meta-data of Internet traffic on smartphones for depression screening. We develop techniques to identify Internet usage sessions (i.e., time periods when a user is online) and extract a novel set of features based on usage sessions from the Internet traffic meta-data. Our results demonstrate that Internet usage features can reflect the different behavioral characteristics between depressed and non-depressed participants, confirming findings in psychological sciences, which have relied on surveys or questionnaires instead of real Internet traffic as in our study. Furthermore, we develop machine learning based prediction models that use these features to predict depression. Our evaluation shows that Internet usage features can be used for effective depression prediction, leading to F1 score as high as 0.80.

Yue Chaoqun, Ware Shweta, Morillo Reynaldo, Lu Jin, Shang Chao, Bi Jinbo, Kamath Jayesh, Russell Alexander, Bamis Athanasios, Wang Bing


Data Analytics, Depression Prediction, Internet Traffic Characteristics, Machine Learning, Smartphone Sensing