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


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.

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Correspondence to Axel Poigné.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Mathews, E., Poigné, A. Evaluation of a "Smart" Pedestrian Counting System Based on Echo State Networks. J Embedded Systems 2009, 352172 (2009).

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