T-Finder: A Recommender System for Finding Passengers and Vacant Taxis

Nicholas Jing Yuan, Yu Zheng, Liuhang Zhang, Xing Xie

IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering |

This paper presents a recommender system for both taxi drivers and people expecting to take a taxi, using the knowledge of 1) passengers’ mobility patterns and 2) taxi drivers’ picking-up/dropping-off behaviors learned from the GPS trajectories of taxicabs. First, this recommender system provides taxi drivers with some locations and the routes to these locations, towards which they are more likely to pick up passengers quickly (during the routes or in these locations) and maximize the profit of the next trip. Second, it recommends people with some locations (within a walking distance) where they can easily find vacant taxis. In our method, we learn the above-mentioned knowledge (represented by probabilities) from GPS trajectories of taxis. Then, we feed the knowledge into a probabilistic model which estimates the profit of the candidate locations for a particular driver based on where and when the driver requests the recommendation. We build our system using historical trajectories generated by over 12,000 taxis during 110 days and validate the system with extensive evaluations including in-the-field user studies.