HearLiquid: Non-intrusive Liquid Fraud Detection Using Commodity Acoustic Devices

Yanni Yang, Yanwen Wang, Jiannong Cao, Jinlin Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Liquid fraud has plagued people with huge health risks. Liquid fraud detection can help to reduce the risk of liquid hazards. However, existing systems that use biochemical tools or radio frequency signals for liquid sensing are either expensive, intrusive, or inconvenient for public use. In this article, we propose HearLiquid, a low-cost and nonintrusive liquid fraud detection system using commodity acoustic devices. Our insight comes from the fact that acoustic impedance of different liquids results in distinct absorption of the acoustic signal across different frequencies when it travels through the liquid. In specific, we extract the liquid's acoustic absorption and transmission curve (AATC) over multiple frequencies of the acoustic signal for liquid fraud detection. However, accurately measuring the AATC faces multiple challenges. First, due to the hardware diversity and imperfection, different acoustic devices introduce diverse frequency responses, which brings significant deviations to AATCs of the same liquid. Second, different relative positions between acoustic devices and the liquid container result in variations in the AATC, making the detection result inaccurate. To overcome these challenges, we first calibrate the AATC using a dedicated reference AATC to remove the effect of hardware diversity. To bear the variations in AATCs measured from different relative positions, we apply a well-orchestrated data augmentation technique to automatically generate sufficient AATCs for different positions using a small number of collected data. Finally, AATCs are used to train the liquid detection model. We conduct extensive experiments on many important liquid fraud cases and achieve liquid detection accuracy of 92%-97%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13582 - 13597
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • Acoustic absorption and transmission
  • acoustic signal
  • liquid fraud detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'HearLiquid: Non-intrusive Liquid Fraud Detection Using Commodity Acoustic Devices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this