With the maturity and wide availability of GPS, wireless, telecommunication, and Web technologies, massive amounts of object movement data have been collected from various moving object targets, such as animals, mobile devices, vehicles, and climate radars. Analyzing such data has deep implications in many applications, such as, ecological study, traffic control, mobile communication management, and climatological forecast. In this article, we focus our study on animal movement data analysis and examine advanced data mining methods for discovery of various animal movement patterns. In particular, we introduce a moving object data mining system, MoveMine, which integrates multiple data mining functions, including sophisticated pattern mining and trajectory analysis. In this system, two interesting moving object pattern mining functions are newly developed: (1) periodic behavior mining and (2) swarm pattern mining. For mining periodic behaviors, a reference location-based method is developed, which first detects the reference locations, discovers the periods in complex movements, and then finds periodic patterns by hierarchical clustering. For mining swarm patterns, an efficient method is developed to uncover flexible moving object clusters by relaxing the popularly-enforced collective movement constraints.
In the MoveMine system, a set of commonly used moving object mining functions are built and a user-friendly interface is provided to facilitate interactive exploration of moving object data mining and flexible tuning of the mining constraints and parameters. MoveMine has been tested on multiple kinds of real datasets, especially for MoveBank applications and other moving object data analysis. The system will benefit scientists and other users to carry out versatile analysis tasks to analyze object movement regularities and anomalies. Moreover, it will benefit researchers to realize the importance and limitations of current techniques and promote future studies on moving object data mining. As expected, a mastery of animal movement patterns and trends will improve our understanding of the interactions between and the changes of the animal world and the ecosystem and therefore help ensure the sustainability of our ecosystem.