Open Access

Evaluation of a "Smart" Pedestrian Counting System Based on Echo State Networks

EURASIP Journal on Embedded Systems20092009:352172

Received: 30 August 2008

Accepted: 18 December 2008

Published: 19 January 2009


We have designed an inexpensive intelligent pedestrian counting system. The pedestrian counting system consists of several counters that can be connected together in a distributed fashion and communicate over the wireless channel. The motion pattern is recorded using a set of passive infrared (PIR) sensors. Each counter has one wireless sensor node that processes the PIR sensor data and transmits it to a base station. Then echo state network, a special kind of recurrent neural network, is used to predict the pedestrian count from the input pattern. The evaluation of the performance of such networks in a novel kind of application is one focus of this work. The counter gave a performance of 80.4% which is better than the commercially available low-priced pedestrian counters. The article reports the experiments we did for analyzing the counterperformance and lists the strengths and limitations of the current implementation. It will also report the preliminary test results obtained by substituting the PIR sensors with low-cost active IR distance sensors which can improve the counter performance further.


Sensor NodeMotion PatternSensor DataWireless ChannelSpecial Kind

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Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Computer Science, University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Sankt Augustin, Germany
Knowledge Discovery Department, Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS), Schloss Birlinghoven, Sankt Augustin, Germany


© E. Mathews and A. Poigné. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.