Understanding transportation modes based on GPS data for Web applications

Yu Zheng, Yukun Chen, Quannan Li, Xing Xie, Wei-Ying Ma

ACM Transaction on the Web | , Vol 4

User mobility has given rise to a variety of Web applications, in which the global positioning system (GPS) plays many important roles in bridging between these applications and end users. As a kind of human behavior, people’s transportation modes, such as walking and driving, can provide pervasive computing systems with more contextual information and enrich a user’s mobility with informative knowledge. In this article, we report on an approach based on supervised learning to automatically infer users’ transportation modes, including driving, walking, taking a bus and riding a bike, from raw GPS logs. Our approach consists of three parts: a change point-based segmentation method, an inference model and a graph-based post-processing algorithm. First, we propose a change point-based segmentation method to partition each GPS trajectory into separate segments of different transportation modes. Second, from each segment, we identify a set of sophisticated features, which are not affected by differing traffic conditions (e.g., a person’s direction when in a car is constrained more by the road than any change in traffic conditions). Later, these features are fed to a generative inference model to classify the segments of different modes. Third, we conduct graph-based post-processing to further improve the inference performance. This post-processing algorithm considers both the commonsense constraints of the real world and typical user behaviors based on locations in a probabilistic manner. The advantages of our method over the related works include three aspects. 1) Our approach can effectively segment trajectories containing multiple transportation modes. 2) Our work mined the location constraints from user-generated GPS logs, while being independent of additional sensor data and map information like road networks and bus stops. 3) The model learned from the dataset of some users can be applied to infer GPS data from others. Using the GPS logs collected by 65 people over a period of 10 months, we evaluated our approach via a set of experiments. As a result, based on the change-point-based segmentation method and Decision Tree-based inference model, we achieved prediction accuracy greater than 71 percent. Further, using the graph-based post-processing algorithm, the performance attained a 4-percent enhancement.


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GeoLife GPS Trajectories

August 9, 2012

This is a GPS trajectory dataset collected in (Microsoft Research Asia) GeoLife project by 182 users in a period of over two years (from April 2007 to August 2012). This trajectory dataset can be used in many research fields, such as mobility pattern mining, user activity recognition, location-based social networks, location privacy, and location recommendation. The following heat maps visualize its distribution in Beijing. Please cite the following two papers when using this dataset. [1] Yu Zheng, Quannan Li, Yukun Chen, Xing Xie. Understanding Mobility Based on GPS Data. In Proceedings of ACM conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2008), Seoul, Korea. ACM Press: 312-321. [2] Yu Zheng, Lizhu Zhang, Xing Xie, Wei-Ying Ma. Mining interesting locations and travel sequences from GPS trajectories. In Proceedings of International conference on World Wild Web (WWW 2009), Madrid Spain. ACM Press: 791-800.

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