Mobile group consumption refers to consumption by a group of people, such as a couple, a family, colleagues and friends, based on mobile communications. It differs from consumption only involving individuals, because of the complex relations among group members. Existing data collection systems for mobile group consumption are centralized, which has the disadvantages of being a performance bottleneck, having single-point failure and increasing business and security risks. Moreover, these data collection systems are based on a synchronized clock, which is often unrealistic because of hardware constraints, privacy concerns or synchronization cost. In this paper, we propose the first asynchronous distributed approach to collecting data generated by mobile group consumption. We formally built a system model thereof based on asynchronous distributed communication. We then designed a simulation system for the model for which we propose a three-layer solution framework. After that, we describe how to detect the causality relation of two/three gathering events that happened in the system based on the collected data. Various definitions of causality relations based on asynchronous distributed communication are supported. Extensive simulation results show that the proposed approach is effective for data collection relating to mobile group consumption.
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