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Cities represent large groups of people that share a common infrastructure, common social groups and/or common interests. With the development of new technologies current cities aim to become what is known as smart cities, in which all the small details of these large constructs are controlled to better improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. One of the important gears that powers a city is given by traffic, be it vehicular or pedestrian. As such traffic is closely related to all other activities that take place inside of a city. Understanding traffic is still a difficult process as we have to be able to not only measure it in the sense of how many people are using a particular path but also in analyzing where people are going and when, while still maintaining individual privacy. And all this has to be done at a scale that would cover most if not all individuals in a city. With the high increase in smartphones adoption we can reliably assume that a large part of the population in cities are carrying with them, at all times, at least one Wi-Fi enabled device. Because Wi-Fi devices are regularly transmitting signals we can rely on these devices to detect individual's movements unobtrusively without identifying or tracking any particular individual. Special sensors that monitor Wi-Fi frequencies can be placed around a city to gather data that can later be used to identify patterns in the traffic flows. We present a set of filters that can be used to minimize the amount of data needed for processing and without negatively impacting the result or the information that can be extracted from this data. Part of the filters we present can be deployed at the sensor level, making the entire system more scalable, while a different part can be executed before data processing thus enabling real time information extraction and a broader temporal and spatial range for data analysis. Some of these filters are particular to Wi-Fi but some of them can be applied to any detection system.
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